You worked hard to get to medical school, and you'll work even harder to get through it. With such a heavy and challenging course load, the average medical student must endure long nights of studying, many lectures, and endless hours of clinical experience.
Unlike the average student, the evaluation of medical students is dependent on several variables. Factors like your academic performance, clinical knowledge, and their compliance to standards of conduct outside of medical school are considered when determining a medical student's status in school. If, based on these periodic evaluations, a school discovers that you aren't living up to the school's requirements, your dismissal from the medical school is a viable option.
Of course, potentially being dismissed from medical school is your worst nightmare after all the work you've put in. And the majority of the time, it is life events that you can't control that have kept you off your A-game. The good news is that medical schools afford you the option of contesting decisions that could prevent you from getting your M.D. via the appeals process.
An appeal is a request to overturn an academic determination, such as a dismissal, made by the school. With the help of an attorney, you can craft a compelling and effective appeal to convince your school to let you continue your education at that institution.
Grounds for an Appeal
An appeal will only be considered for review by your school if it is submitted within the deadline and if it is based on good reason. These reasons are referred to as “grounds.” Being dissatisfied with a grade, or a clinical evaluation isn't a reasonable ground for an appeal. The majority of schools are receptive to two permissible grounds in an appeal request: improper conduct and extenuating circumstances.
A student can successfully appeal on this ground when mistakes have been made by school staff, or school guidelines have been incorrectly applied to your case. For example, let's say the school's decision to dismiss you was premature according to the code of conduct, or the evaluations were biased. These are examples of improper conduct.
Students can appeal on this ground if they've experienced unpredictable and inevitable events in their lives that have hindered their academic progression. A few good examples of extenuating circumstances are:
- Family crisis: a loved one has fallen ill or died, and the time that you used to dedicate to school is now occupied with making certain arrangements, taking care of a loved one, or grieving.
- Medical or psychological issues: you have been diagnosed with depression or another debilitating injury that prevented you from staying on top of your studies.
- Financial issues: You lost your job or your main source of income and aren't sure about how you're going to make ends meet - whether that means paying your bills or paying tuition.
It's important to note that each school has its own unique set of guidelines regarding appeal criteria, requests, and deadlines. To ensure your appeal is considered, you should locate your school's guidelines in your school's code of conduct and operate accordingly.
Pennsylvania Student Rights Attorney
You've worked hard to get to medical school, don't just let it slip through your fingers. Take advantage of your right to challenge your school's dismissal by requesting an appeal. If you feel like the grounds mentioned above apply to your case, you should consult with an attorney.
Legal professional Joseph D. Lento has worked with students who aspire to practice in a broad range of industries and understands how to maximize the likelihood of an appeal. Contact him today at 888-535-3686.
Pennsylvania medical schools where Joseph D. Lento can help as your or your student's attorney advisor include the following:
- Drexel University College of Medicine
- Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine
- Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University
- Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
- Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
- Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania
- Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University
- University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine