Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences (OSU-COM) mission focuses on providing a hands-on healthcare approach to the state's rural and underserved populations. D.O. programs represent nearly one-quarter of all U.S. medical students, and OSU-COM prepares hundreds of future practitioners yearly.

More than half of OSU-COM graduates practice osteopathic medicine in Oklahoma, with 25 percent engaging in smaller communities with a population of 10,000 or less. This has led to the school remaining fully accredited by the American Osteopathic Association's Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA).

As students journey toward their dream careers, extended work hours, keeping up with classwork, and caring for patients can cause a stress load. Between academic and professional rigors, future doctors can misstep and land themselves in front of the school's disciplinary board. The fallout from consequences can limit career prospects, so it's important to know that you can retain help if you run afoul of OSU-COM's multitude of personal and professional guidelines.

OSU-COM Academic and Professionalism Standards

To remain a part of OSU-COM's stellar D.O. program, students must follow the policies stipulated in the Academic Standards Handbook and the Student Handbook. These guidelines establish what OSU-COM expects from its students.

Academic Integrity

While all students must achieve passing grades in various school and medical board examinations, individual requirements also consist of making adequate progression throughout the preclinical and clinical years of the degree, years one and two and years three and four, respectively.

Throughout your tenure as a medical student at OSU-COM, you will be graded on exams, modules, and patient care scenarios. At any point a student is awarded a "D," between 65-69 percent on a 100-point scale, or a "U," an unsatisfactory non-cognitive grade, the student must contact the course director within five business days to begin academic counseling. At OSU-COM, unexcused absences are also graded "U" before missed work is completed.

Moreover, OSU-COM will reprimand students under their Academic Dishonesty Policy for any "deliberately fraudulent misrepresentation…to gain undeserved intellectual credit." Such acts include:

  • Cheating
  • Misuse of medical data
  • Plagiarism
  • Unauthorized Collaboration

Nevertheless, most medical students' academic woes come from not progressing per the school's guidelines. If a student has academic deficiencies or receives "D," "I," "U," or "F" grades, they will be accused of academic misconduct and not recommended for promotion to the following year.

Professionalism Standards

OSU-COM students are considered members of the osteopathic medical profession from the beginning. As such, they are expected to exhibit the ethical and professional characteristics necessary.

To properly vet students, OSU-COM's non-cognitive grading system judges:

  • Emotional Stability: Students must act appropriately in clinical situations and refrain from engaging in unwarranted emotional responses or letting personal beliefs dictate their performance or patient care.
  • Honesty and Integrity: D.O. students must follow all OSU-COM, COCA, state, and federal professional and ethical standards.
  • Judgment: In academic and clinical settings, students should use proper reasoning to determine courses of action.
  • Maturity: If mistakes are made, students must accept responsibility and respond suitably to supervision.
  • Reliability and Responsibility: OSU-COM students must be respectful, prompt, and complete assignments, whether academic or clinical.
  • Respectful Behavior: D.O. students must act empathetically, respect confidentiality, and address patients and co-workers correctly.

Although your supervisor will be the first line of corrective action during your tenure as a student, OSU-COM will officially remand students for disciplinary action to keep their reputation and the learning atmosphere intact.

Disciplinary Action at OSU-COM

Students earning one or more academic grades a "D" or below, an "I" or "U" in non-cognitive grades, or accused of unprofessional behavior must meet with the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) to review the student's progression. During the process, the ASC will allow a student to access evidence, address witnesses, present information independently, and have outside representation assist them, but only in an advisory capacity. If the ASC determines the student is responsible for the alleged misconduct, they will hand down the following sanctions:

  • Academic probation with remediation requirements
  • Behavioral counseling with remediation requirements
  • External medical board preparation courses
  • Forced leave of absence and enrollment in the OSU Graduate College Certificate Program in Biomedical Sciences
  • Interim suspension
  • Dismissal

Remediation at OSU-COM

Remediation can be a program to help you graduate, but many times it begins a road to demise. D.O. students must complete their remediation while keeping current with their degree, finishing before OSU-COM's rule to graduate within six years of matriculation.

OSU-COM's remediation programs are divided into two categories: preclinical and clinical.

  1. Preclinical: Students may attempt remediation in six or fewer credit hours per academic year and nine or less in preclinical years. They must achieve at least a "C" grade when remediating a "D" or "U" grade. Unsuccessful students will be dismissed from OSU-COM.
  2. Clinical: Third and fourth-year students must attempt the remediated rotation again, whether partial or in total. No more than two rotations may be remediated, and failing a remediated rotation will result in dismissal from OSU-COM.

Remediation will cause a decline in a student's overall grade assessment. At OSU-COM, remediated courses or rotations will only garner 70 percent of the possible grade that may be awarded, regardless of the earned score.

Dismissal From OSU-COM

Although D.O. students can appeal disciplinary action, that option is off the table once they attempt remediation. Furthermore, with such a packed academic and medical schedule, students do not have the personal resources necessary to study college bylaws and regulations to offer a cogent argument to the ASC.

OSU-COM students may return to complete their degrees once the period of mandatory separation is fulfilled, but they will have to start their education from the beginning.

Damaging consequences from dismissal also include:

  • Challenges enrolling at other osteopathic medical schools
  • Limitations on career placement irrespective of grades placement limitations
  • Overcoming student debt without a D.O.'s salary

Hiring Joseph D. Lento as Your OSU-COM Advisor

No future D.O. should face disciplinary or corrective action without the help of an experienced student defense advisor. Joseph D. Lento has years of experience in medical school discipline matters and issues with progression and remediation. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm have aided medical students across the country in securing positive outcomes and even brokering beneficial resolutions with a school's Office of General Counsel (OGC).

If you face dismissal from OSU-COM, speak to a specialist and call the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to get the extra help you need, or visit the online consultation form. Your future depends on it.

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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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