Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine

In 2021, Tulsa-based Oklahoma State University (OSU) Center for Health Sciences and the Cherokee Nation began a partnership to provide interprofessional education to medical students at the OSU Center for Health Sciences College of Osteopathic Medicine in Tahlequah (OSU-COM Tahlequah). As the nation's only tribal-affiliated medical school, students are afforded unique opportunities a the state-of-the-art Tahlequah campus to develop the knowledge to serve tribal, rural, and underserved people throughout Oklahoma.

Future doctors enrolled in D.O. programs represent one-quarter of all U.S. medical students, and the OSU-COM Tahlequah curriculum prepares students via academic and professional rigors they would experience when they're licensed to practice by themselves. With 80-hour work weeks, engaging with patients' health concerns, and stringent coursework, students may misstep and run afoul of the many rules and regulations governing their personal and professional lives.

OSU-COM Tahlequah ensures its graduates are respected leaders in the healthcare sector and will address any instances of alleged misconduct to keep their reputation intact. Consequences from academic failures or professionalism concerns can limit a student's career prospects, so it's imperative to know what can happen.

OSU-COM Tahlequah Academic and Professionalism Standards

Students at OSU-COM Tahlequah must abide by the highest academic and behavioral standards as stated in the Academic Standards Handbook and Student Handbook. These guidelines establish what OSU-COM Tahlequah expects from D.O. students inside and outside the classroom.

Academic Integrity at OSU-COM Tahlequah

Throughout your tenure as a medical student at OSU-COM Tahlequah, you will be graded on various exams, modules, and patient care scenarios. At any point a student is graded a "D" or a "U," the student must contact the course director within five business days to establish a course of academic counseling. Unexcused absences are also graded "U" before making up missed work.

OSU-COM Tahlequah also requires students to put in honest work. Under their Academic Dishonesty Policy, "behavior in which a deliberately fraudulent misrepresentation is employed in an attempt to gain undeserved intellectual credit, either for oneself or for another" is prohibited, which includes:

  • Advance access to exams
  • Breach of patient confidentiality
  • Cheating
  • Fraudulent alteration or misrepresentation
  • Known cooperation in an academically dishonest undertaking
  • Misuse of medical data
  • Plagiarism
  • Unauthorized advance access to an exam
  • Unauthorized Collaboration

Moreover, OSU-COM Tahlequah requires its medical students to complete courses and progress through the program at a predetermined pace. Supervisors may also remand students if they fall behind through progression issues, triggering a review process.

Professionalism Standards at OSU-COM Tahlequah

Students at OSU-COM Tahlequah are considered members of the osteopathic medical profession and are expected to exhibit the ethical, professional, behavioral, and personal characteristics necessary for the practice. According to their non-cognitive grading system, D.O. students must display:

  • Emotional Stability: Present appropriate emotional responses warranted by clinical situations and do not allow excessive emotional responses or personal beliefs to affect performance adversely
  • Honesty and Integrity: Adhere to professional and ethical standards
  • Judgment: Show appropriate reasoning in academic and clinical settings
  • Maturity: Accept responsibility for mistakes and respond appropriately to supervision
  • Reliability and Responsibility: Be dutiful, on time, and complete assigned tasks promptly
  • Respectful Behavior: Demonstrate empathy, maintain confidentiality, and address patients and co-workers properly

Disciplinary Action at OSU-COM

Students earning one or more "D," "I," "U," or "F" grades in a semester or accused of unprofessional behavior are required to meet with the Academic Standards Committee (ASC) to review the cause of unsatisfactory academic performance or behavioral concerns. OSU-COM Tahlequah students will receive:

  1. A written notice of the alleged violation
  2. An explanation of the process of redress

When meeting with the ASC, the student may access all evidence gathered, address witnesses, and present information independently. They are permitted to have outside representation assist them, but only in an advisory capacity. Nevertheless, if the ASC determines the student is responsible for the alleged misconduct, they may levy the following sanctions:

  • Academic probation with remediation requirements
  • Behavioral counseling with remediation requirements
  • Interim suspension
  • Dismissal

Remediation at OSU-COM Tahlequah

D.O. students required to complete remediation to remain at OSU-COM Tahlequah are divided into preclinical and clinical. Preclinical students may attempt remediation in no more than six total credit hours in an academic year and no more than nine total credit hours during their preclinical years. A "C" grade or better must be achieved when remediating a "D" or "U" grade, and 70 percent of the original will be awarded, regardless of the actual percentage attained during the remediation. Those failing to remediate a grade will be dismissed.

Remediation for clinical students requires them to attempt the rotation again, whether partial or total. Remediation may be attempted in no more than two rotations total and failing a remediated rotation will result in dismissal from OSU-COM Tahlequah.

Dismissal from OSU-COM Tahlequah

Separation from medical school derails a student's career prospects and causes a long road of difficulties for the student moving forward. While OSU-COM Tahlequah students may return to complete their degrees, they will have to start from the beginning, severely delaying becoming fully-licensed doctors.

Other damaging consequences from dismissal include:

  • Career placement limitations
  • Challenges continuing medical education elsewhere
  • Overcoming student debt without a doctor's salary

Hiring Joseph D. Lento as Your OSU-COM Tahlequah Advisor

You have the opportunity to appeal disciplinary action at OSU-COM Tahlequah. However, medical students don't have the knowledge necessary to broker resolutions with their school's Office of General Counsel (OGC) or disciplinary board officials, but a professional does. No medical student should face these dire matters without the help of an experienced student defense advisor.

Joseph D. Lento has years of experience in student rights and discipline matters. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm have helped medical students across the country achieve positive outcomes in student disciplinary hearings and issues with progression and remediation. If you face dismissal from OSU-COM Tahlequah, 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.

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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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