Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) uses its Code of Conduct to set forth rules upon which to govern its student body. The Code itself is located within the pages of the College's student handbook. The Code contains a number of violations a student can commit. Students who are suspected of either academic or non-academic violations will be tried under the College's Disciplinary Process. If a student is held responsible for violations of the Code, they will face sanctions to serve as punishment for their behavior.
The Disciplinary Process begins when a student receives a notice of disciplinary action in writing. The notice will alert the student to a time and place for their hearing, as well as what occurred to necessitate the notice and hearing. Hearings will be held by the Student Professional Conduct Committee.
At hearings, students who are facing violation charges will be known as "charged students." The hearing will be conducted by the Chair of the Student Professional Conduct Committee. Prior to the start of any hearings, the Committee members will excuse themselves for bias; or if a Committee member is believed to hold any bias but does not remove his/her self then the Committee will vote to decide on their removal. The Committee will decide upon the general flow of the hearing, and is responsible for preserving procedural integrity. The charged student can present evidence and witnesses to support their case. The charged student can also testify themselves, if desired, however they are not required to do so. Students will also have the ability to cross-examine any witnesses opposing their case. The committee makes a recommendation for a finding and sanctions after the hearing closes.
The College allows an attorney to represent students at hearings. There is no reason why an attorney should not represent a student at a hearing. College hearings can be thought of as a variation of a court proceeding, but the odds are strongly stacked against the student. Having an attorney's representation can strongly influence the outcome of the disciplinary hearing in a student's favor. An attorney experienced in student defense will know the best way to proceed in front of a committee, and will bring courtroom tactics into a hearing to give the student the best defense possible.
In the event of an unfavorable outcome, students have a chance to make an appeal. The Code itself does not provide specifics of the appeal, however, it should be made as soon as possible. Letters of appeal should be submitted to the Provost. The Provost will have the final say in the hearing, so it is of utmost importance to present a strong appeal.
If you or a loved one is currently facing disciplinary action from Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, contact attorney Joseph D. Lento today.