Many top-tier medical programs call New York home. If you're able to graduate from one of New York's many medical schools, there's no telling what you'll go on to achieve. The first step to making your name in medicine, though, is graduation.
Academic hardship or alleged professionalism or misconduct issues can be roadblocks to graduation. At the very least, required remediation or sanctions from your medical program can be costly—to both your reputation and pocketbook. In the worst cases, these challenges can prevent you from earning a degree. Dismissal and forced abandonment of your medical pursuits are harsh realities that you must consider.
If you're facing a medical school issue in New York, help is out there. A New York medical student attorney-advisor will guide you through hearings, appeals, and other related proceedings.
Codes of Conduct at New York Medical Programs
Each medical school in New York sets several expectations of students. These expectations govern academic requirements, professional behavior, and other features of the medical school experience. Failing to honor these codes of conduct could expose you to discipline.
Each medical program may have its own code. Every code may have common features, though, like minimum passing grades and expected professional behavior. The NYU School of Medicine considers “gross incompetence or negligence” to be a form of misconduct. Other medical programs throughout the state may have a similar intolerance for negligent behavior.
Behaviors that your medical program may prohibit include:
- Unauthorized academic collaboration
- Falsification of data
- Disrespectful behavior towards professors and fellow students
- Criminal behavior
Committing any act that violates the code of conduct could prompt formal sanctions. Even a groundless allegation of wrongdoing could initiate an investigation, hearing, and adjudication proceedings. Do not assume that you'll avoid sanctions just because you're innocent of allegations levied against you. A strong defense is necessary in every case.
Your program's code of conduct may also detail minimum academic performance standards. Failing courses or examinations—especially repeat failures—could result in sanctions like suspension or dismissal.
Remediation and New York Medical Programs
No medical student enters school with the intent to fail. The stresses of a full course load of rigorous studies can be overwhelming, though. Failures happen, and medical programs generally provide a safety net for students who fail a course or critical examination. This safety net is called remediation.
Your school may have a designated body that handles matters of remediation. At Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM), that body is the Student Evaluation Committee. The Student Evaluation Committee monitors the academic performance of each student and decides when a student requires remediation.
Such committees may have your best interests in mind. However, they generally oversee many different students, limiting their ability to weigh each personal circumstance carefully. An attorney-advisor may be better suited to advise you about remediation.
Remediation may be the best option for you. This isn't a given, though. Your program may offer a limited number of remediation (retake) attempts, and poor performance while remediating coursework could trigger dismissal. Your advisor can determine if other action, like an appeal for a grade change, is more appropriate than remediation.
Dismissal From Medical Programs in New York
Medical programs are selective not only in who they accept but who they graduate. If your medical school decides that you're unqualified or that you're a professional liability—fairly or not—it may not hesitate to dismiss you.
Schools may not see beyond an allegation of misconduct or poor academic performance. Perhaps you've been wrongly accused. Maybe your poor academic performance is due to extraordinary hardship in your personal life or undiagnosed disabilities. The specifics of your circumstances matter. Unless you defend yourself, though, your school may assume the worst and expel you.
If you're dismissed from your current medical program, consequences may include:
- Inability to repay your existing student debt in a timely manner
- Difficulty re-enrolling in another medical program
- Accumulation of more student debt upon re-enrollment in another medical program
- The end of your pursuit of a medical degree
- Loss of future earning power
- Personal problems stemming from your dismissal from medical school
Medical programs rarely dismiss students without warning. First, you'll undergo an adjudication process. This generally includes meetings with an investigator and a hearing. At the Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS) oversees disciplinary hearings.
Your program may allow your attorney-advisor to attend your hearing. The advisor may question your accuser and witnesses. You may present witnesses of your own, as well as any evidence that supports your defense. A hearing can be a decisive point in the disciplinary process. It's generally wise to have an attorney's help at this pivotal moment, but bear in mind that your interests and rights will be best protected if you have an experienced attorney-advisor in your corner from the start of the concerns to help guide you forward.
Appealing an Adverse Ruling
The term “appeal” is as American as apple pie. If you go to medical school in New York, especially a public medical school, you generally have the right to full due process—including an appeal. Even private medical schools have limited due process in that the school must follow its stated policies and its actions cannot be arbitrary or capricious. Whether at a public or private school, you can generally appeal significant decisions like dismissal or suspension and may do so on the grounds that:
- You were not treated fairly during the initial disciplinary process
- The sanction you received was disproportionate to the alleged offense
- New evidence has emerged that warrants a reconsideration of your case
Other circumstances may warrant an appeal. You'll generally have a defined window to file your appeal. At the Renaissance School of Medicine at Stony Brook University, the Dean of the School of Medicine rules on appeals. An equivalent faculty member may handle appeals at your medical program. Understanding your particular school's appeal processes is as critical as having an experienced attorney-advisor help you with your appeal.
Hire a Skilled Attorney-Advisor for a Medical School Issue in New York
You didn't just wake up one day as a medical student. You've made calculated moves, shown great discipline, and sacrificed much to get where you are. A single mistake, period of underachievement, or wrongful allegation could dash all of your hard work. Don't let it.
Experienced medical school attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his team at the Lento Law Firm can help. Attorney Lento and his team work diligently on behalf of medical school students in New York and nationwide. The Lento Law Firm has helped countless medical students at New York medical schools and they will provide the effective defense that you deserve.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or submit your case online. Call as soon as you can. The sooner we accept your case, the longer we'll have to prepare your defense so that you can get back to your studies on your way to becoming a doctor.