Rhode Island may be the tiniest state in America, but the rich history, unique architecture, and village-like towns set it apart. It also happens to be home to Alpert Medical School at Brown University, arguably one of the best medical schools in the country. With such a high standard to uphold, Brown University expects a lot out of their medical students. When students leave, they should be able to easily stitch up a wound and comfort a child going through chemo. Unfortunately, these expectations can unnecessarily stress out a medical student, causing them to struggle academically, or to exhibit unusual and abnormal behaviors not reflective of who they are as a person and student. If this sounds familiar, an attorney advisor can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Rhode Island Medical Students
Medical students are given student handbooks on the first day of classes. This handbook outlines the rules the administration expects the students to follow. Normally, these rules cover the student's academic behavior and their professional obligations. For instance, at Brown University Medical School, the handbook asks the students to refrain from cheating on exams, falsifying data on medical records, or misrepresenting their work, both in the classroom and in their patient care. It also asks students to make sure they are maintaining satisfactory grades (70% or higher is passing) and patient confidentiality, treating patients and hospital staff with respect, and only performing medical procedures they've been trained for.
If a student violates the policies in the student handbook, they are transferred to one of the committees that oversees remediation, disciplinary actions, or dismissal. Those committees will review the issue and decide how to move forward.
Remediation at Rhode Island Medical Schools
Medical schools have to guarantee that when a student graduates, they have the skills and education to treat patients effectively and safely. To ensure this, students are tested frequently on both their medical knowledge and professional skills. This constant testing can mean extra stress and anxiety for the student, causing them to perform poorly. Medical schools understand this and provide students with the opportunity to remediate courses, exams, or clinical clerkships they've failed. Remediation must be successful before the medical school will allow the student to progress.
At Brown University, if a student fails an assignment, clinical, or course, they are given no credit and referred to the curriculum directors or clerkship directors for a remediation plan. If a student is unable to pass the remediation, they will be recommended for dismissal.
Dismissal From a Rhode Island Medical Program
When a student is referred to the Committee on Academic Standing and Professionalism (MCASP) for dismissal, they will review the student's file, remediation plan, and/or disciplinary issue and determine the next steps. At Brown University, students can be dismissed for failing Step 1 of the USMLE more than three times, cheating on an assignment, sexually harassing another student, or misusing alcohol.
It is very important to show up to your dismissal hearing well prepared. You should have witnesses and evidence to help plead your case. If you show up ill-prepared, it is very unlikely the hearing will go your way. Insufficient defenses can have other disastrous consequences besides being permanently dismissed from medical school. For example, students who are dismissed but hope to go to another medical school might not be able to transfer their credits. They will have to start from zero, adding more time and money to the endeavor. Also, if they are unable to get into another medical school or choose to take a break, they will still have to pay back their student loans, which might be difficult without a physician's salary to lean on.
Teaming up with an attorney advisor from the moment you learn of these issues is the best way to protect your dream of becoming a doctor in Rhode Island. Their guidance and experience are unrivaled.
There are certain policies and procedures that medical schools are supposed to set up for official events like remediation, disciplinary, or dismissal committee meetings. These policies and procedures are voted on before going into action and cannot be changed from student to student. They must be presented to each student equally. More often than not, these rights involve:
- Letting a student face their accuser in a disciplinary hearing
- Granting them the opportunity to defend themselves in a hearing
- Offering them the chance to join a remediation program
- Giving them the opportunity to appeal committee decisions
When the hearing procedures end, the committee will recuse themselves and review the issue, facts, and evidence presented. They will send their decision in a letter a few days later. Most schools require the decision to go out about ten days after the hearing. The decision letter will also include instructions for how to appeal it. For students challenging suspension or dismissal decisions, the chance to appeal should not be overlooked. Suspensions and dismissals are one of the few punishments that will be noted on your transcripts. And if you want to apply to another medical school, these notations will follow you. If your appeal is successful, the notations will never exist.
Filing an appeal is meant to be straightforward. The decision letter will include where to submit it, what to include, and what date it needs to be submitted. Sadly, some students forget to file the appeal or don't compose it well enough for it to succeed. This is where an attorney advisor's expertise becomes unparalleled. They have the background and legal experience to alleviate any stress and anxiety you might be feeling.
In some cases, an appeal may be denied. If this happens, an attorney advisor will be able to walk you through alternative paths you can take to resolve the matter. Either way, they will not stop until every opportunity has been exhausted. For instance, your attorney advisor can reach out to the Office of General Counsel at your medical school and negotiate on your behalf. For the most part, these discussions are more successful than if you were to file suit against the medical school.
Rhode Island Medical Student Defense Advisor
Being brought before a remediation, disciplinary, or dismissal committee is a scary experience, but an attorney advisor can help. Attorney advisors are experts in medical school defenses. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team will organize a strong defense that guarantees you the best possible outcome for your case. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.