Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry, Portland, Oregon

Getting into dental school is wonderful. Your dreams of becoming a dental professional are finally coming to fruition. But what happens when the University's expectations become overwhelming? Some students find they cannot keep up with the course load, and their grades slip, others discover how hard it is to behave in a professional manner while under so much pressure. Whatever the case may be, if you or someone you love is now being referred for dismissal proceedings at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry (OHSU) in Portland, Oregon, you need a strong defense. An attorney-advisor can help you properly prepare, guaranteeing you the best possible outcome for your case. Call our offices today.

Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry Code of Conduct

OHSU believes in providing dental professionals to the world who are highly educated and display the highest level of professional decorum. As such, they expect their students to follow a specific code of conduct. This code of conduct includes policies such as:

  • Learning the concepts and facts that are relevant to the dental profession
  • Develop the habit of lifelong learning to keep up with the ever-evolving sciences
  • Perform professional obligations in a timely manner
  • Be honest in their academic assignments and with other people
  • Treat patients with dignity and respect at all times
  • Maintain patient confidentiality
  • Refrain from letting personal concerns and biases interfere with their patient's health and welfare

Additionally, OHSU dental students are expected to abstain from any type of academic misconduct. Every school has a particular definition for the term “academic misconduct,” but they all usually agree that it is an act that undermines the institution's ability to provide a fair academic environment. At OHSU, academic misconduct includes the following actions:

  • Cheating: helping someone else cheat on an exam, clinical, or some other academic assignment; copying another classmate's work; stealing the answers to an exam; or asking around for someone to allow you to cheat.
  • Plagiarism: utilizing someone else's work or ideas as if they were your own on an exam, paper, or other academic assignment; or incorrectly citing a source on an assignment.

Anyone who is caught violating these policies at OHSU will be subject to a disciplinary hearing. If the academic misconduct is so egregious, or it is a student's second offense, the university may refer the student straight to a dismissal hearing instead. It is important to work with an attorney-advisor from the moment you learn of the proceedings. An attorney-advisor will be able to review the case and gather evidence and witnesses to speak on your behalf.

Remediation at OHSU School of Dentistry

Like all graduate schools, dental schools are focused on educating and producing dental professionals who not only have the proper bedside manner and professional decorum but who have mastered the academic aspect as well. Because of this, students at OHSU are reviewed at the end of every academic year. If the administration sees that a student is struggling with their grades, or their professional behavior is subpar, they will allow the student to remediate.

Remediation allows a student to retake an exam, clinical, or redo an assignment. The hope is that with the extra time and attention, the student will be able to receive a higher grade and progress in the program appropriately. At OHSU, students are given the chance to remediate one time per course or clinical. If they are unable to remediate, they will be referred for dismissal proceedings.

Dismissal Proceedings at OHSU School of Dentistry

OHSU School of Dentistry maintains high expectations for its students. The dental field is extremely competitive, and patient care is of the utmost importance. Additionally, the main concern for most dental schools is their own reputation. If a student is caught cheating, is unable to maintain satisfactory grades, or violates the code of conduct in any other way, the reputation of the school suffers. With this in mind, it is no wonder that students are often sent down the path of dismissal.

The Student Performance Committee (SPC) will meet to determine if a student should be referred for dismissal. During this meeting, they review all the relevant information at their disposal. The student should be notified before this meeting so that they may attend it if they wish. The SPC will interview the student and any relevant witnesses, review the information, and then make their decision by a majority vote.

If the SPC decides that the student should be dismissed, they will notify the student immediately. The student has ten business days from the moment they are notified to appeal the decision. This appeal must be in writing and state exactly why the student believes the decision is unjust. OHSU only allows appeals made on the following grounds:

  • There is new evidence that was discovered after the initial hearing
  • The SPC failed to follow its own policies
  • There is documented evidence of an SPC member's bias towards the student

The Provost will review the appeal and determine if the original decision should be upheld, amended, or stricken completely within 30 calendar days. Whatever they decide, it is final and cannot be appealed further.

Why You Should Work With an Experienced Attorney-Advisor

When you go to dental school, you never imagine you might be facing dismissal charges before you graduate. Unfortunately, many students do not appropriately prepare for their dismissal hearings, thinking they can “wing it.” If you are up before a dismissal committee or attempting an appeal, you need a strong defense.

Besides being dismissed from the school, there are other consequences you may not have even considered. For instance, if you have taken out loans for dental school, you will still be expected to repay them, and without the average income of a dental professional, you may find repayment difficult. Additionally, dismissals are notated on your final transcripts at Oregon Health Sciences University School of Dentistry. Meaning, if you intend to apply to another program, you will have to discuss the reason behind the dismissal during your admissions process. Dental schools are highly competitive, and a dismissal may inhibit your ability to get into another dental school.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm are skilled attorney-advisors who have spent years helping students in similar situations. They will craft a quality defense, gathering evidence and presenting witnesses on your behalf, guaranteeing you the best possible outcome for your case. Call our offices today at 888-535-3686 to schedule a consultation or visit us online.

Contact Us Today!


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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