Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine

Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine (OU-HCOM) is committed to inclusion and diversity, and collaboration between faculty, staff, and students to train future primary care physicians and specialists who focus on treating the whole patient. With such important values, OU-HCOM expects its students to meet certain high standards. But some medical students may find this overwhelming and buckle under the pressure, behaving in ways they normally would not.

If you or someone you love has found themselves accused of violating these responsibilities, an attorney-advisor can help. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have years of experience helping medical students in similar situations navigate these issues. Call our offices today.

Academic and Professional Conduct for OU-HCOM Students

At Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, students are held to specific standards. These standards are described in the school's student handbook and generally cover the medical student's academic conduct and their professional responsibilities. For example, OU-HCOM asks students to abstain from cheating and plagiarism, respect the rights, values, and perspectives of other students, faculty, and staff, and contribute to the work of local, national, and international professional organizations.

If a student violates these policies, they will be referred to a committee to determine if they should be allowed to move forward in the program, if they should have to remediate a course or exam, or if they should be punished in some other way. Punishments can range from a warning or academic probation to suspension or expulsion.

Remediation at OU-HCOM

Osteopathic medical school is incredibly competitive, and many students may find the course load overwhelming. OU-HCOM's primary role is to make sure their students are placed into the workforce after graduation and can treat patients safely and effectively. Because of this, they test their students quite frequently on both their medical proficiency and professional capabilities. It is no secret that all students learn differently, and traditional learning and testing practices may not be effective. For instance, one student may learn very well in the classroom setting, whereas another would learn more with hands-on experience like in the clinical setting.

To balance these learning differences, OU-HCOM employs a remediation process to allow struggling students to retake exams, courses, clinical rotations, and standardized tests like the COMPEX Level 1. The Committee on Student Progress (CSP) will monitor and evaluate the student's academic and professional progress. If they determine that a student would benefit from remediation, they will refer them to the Associate Dean of Admissions & Student Affairs so a remediation program can be created.

If a student is given the option to remediate, it must be completed successfully by a particular date in order for the student to move forward in the osteopathic medicine program.

Dismissal Procedures for Medical Students at OU-HCOM

At the end of each academic year, the CSP will review each student's progress in the program. If they find a medical student is consistently failing their courses or is unable to keep up with the coursework in another way, they may be referred for dismissal. Dismissal proceedings can also take place for allegations of academic dishonesty or sexual misconduct.

During this CSP hearing, students will be given the opportunity to submit witnesses and evidence to best advocate on their behalf. The CSP will review this information and determine whether or not dismissal is appropriate. Unfortunately, many medical schools think about their reputation first and punish unnecessarily. Working with an attorney advisor's help during these proceedings will ensure that your case is not only fully heard, but that your due process rights are upheld by CSP.

Appeal a Decision at OU-HCOM

Once CSP notifies you of their decision, you will have an opportunity to appeal it. Usually, appeals must be made within a short period of time. The notice of their decision will also stipulate how long you have to submit your appeal, what grounds the appeal can be made on, and what other types of evidence can be included in it. For most universities, the grounds for appeal include:

  • There is new evidence available now that would have changed the outcome of this case if it had been available before the decision was made.
  • There is a conflict of interest or bias between CSP and the student.
  • The sanctions imposed are harsher than necessary and should be modified.

The appeal is typically referred to an impartial committee that will review it and determine whether or not to uphold CSP's decision, modify it in some way, or strike it down altogether. Whatever their decision, it will probably be final and cannot be appealed further. For exact instructions, reach out to your OU-HCOM's Associate Dean of Admissions & Student Affairs. And, if the idea of filing an appeal is overwhelming, Attorney Lento can help. Appeals are incredibly important as it is your last chance to prove your side of the story and preserve your place in the osteopathic medical program.

Hiring an Experienced Attorney-Advisor

Osteopathic medical school is a vital step in any future doctor's life. But because the workload is overwhelming, and you might be falling behind or behaving in a way you normally would not, it may be hard to present your case to CSP on your own. This may cause you to be fined unnecessary sanctions, including dismissal from the program altogether. In turn, these unnecessary sanctions will have long-lasting consequences on your future prospects. For example, students who are suspended or dismissed from medical school will see these punishments noted on their transcripts. If you decide to apply to another medical school or to a fellowship or future educational experience, you will have to explain the issue over and over, and you might see doors closing.

Attorney Lento and Lento Law Firm have years of experience helping medical students facing similar issues. They will work tirelessly to ensure your case does not fall through the cracks. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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