The Dutch island of Saba is located in the West Indies, and it is home to Saba University School of Medicine (SUSOM). With an accreditation from the Danish Accreditation Organization of the Netherlands and Flanders (NVAO), Saba University School of Medicine is a viable option for those pursuing a residency in an American medical program.
Notably, SUSOM touts an average first-time pass rate for students of 99%. SUSOM also notes that 94% of eligible graduates attain residencies. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento wants to see you join these statistical ranks, but various medical student issues could stand in your way and professional help is often needed.
The Lento Law Firm helps medical students who have been accused of ethical wrongdoing. We also represent those who are facing academic probation, remediation, suspension, dismissal, or any other issue that could harm your reputation and ability to become a doctor.
Some students attending Caribbean medical schools like SUSOM are down to their final opportunity to obtain an M.D. It is absolutely critical that you enlist legal help to ensure your graduation from SUSOM without sanctions on your academic record.
Honor Code and Professional Standards at SUSOM
Section 6.6 of SUSOM's Teaching and Examination Regulations contains the Code, which reads in part:
“As a student of Saba University School of Medicine, I recognize that I am to be held to the highest standards of conduct and ethics in every aspect of my life. As a medical professional, I have read and will adhere to the university's code of academic honesty. I will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate anyone who does…”
The Honor Code also requires students to display mature, safe conduct at all times while attending SUSOM. Any violation of the SUSOM Honor Code may set a disciplinary process into motion.
Academic Probation and Remediation
The SUSOM Promotions Committee determines whether students can advance in their studies or whether they shall face academic probation, remediation, or other academic sanctions.
Failure of a single course or competency assessment may expose you to academic probation, as may your choice to drop a course. Academic probation generally applies for two semesters, cannot be appealed, and may reflect on your permanent academic record.
Your attorney-advisor may be able to protect you from academic probation. A grievance for a grade change or consideration of extraordinary circumstances may lead the SUSOM Promotions Committee to re-consider imposing academic probation upon you.
An attorney-advisor may also help you avoid remediation in favor of a less damaging outcome. SUSOM generally requires students to retake (or remediate) competency exams, courses, and other features of their education when they receive unsatisfactory marks. Either a Course Director or Competency Director will create a remediation plan, and you will have a certain amount of time to complete remediated coursework in a satisfactory manner.
As with academic probation, you should generally view remediation warily. Retaking even a single exam could have long-term academic and professional consequences. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento will determine how you may avoid remediation.
Dismissal is a possibility for SUSOM students who do not show necessary academic progress or who allegedly violate the Honor Code.
The dismissal policy for academic underperformance is quite clear: “Students may be dismissed by the university at the end of any semester if they have not made sufficient academic progress to warrant continuance of study.”
Though you can be dismissed for academic struggles, it is the university's decision as to whether you should be dismissed. An attorney will make your case for leniency if SUSOM considers dismissing you.
SUSOM's 2020-22 Student Catalog states that you may also be dismissed for behavioral issues, whether it is alleged academic misconduct, alleged unprofessional behavior, or some other prohibited behavior:
“Inappropriate conduct while on the island of Saba or during clinical training may result in immediate dismissal from the medical school program.”
While Saba University School of Medicine provides some information about the adjudication process, some uncertainty remains. Caribbean medical schools such as SUSOM may not deliver discipline in as consistent a manner as American medical programs, and you must be prepared for the unexpected.
The clearest way to protect yourself from such uncertainty is to hire attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento for your case
You may generally appeal SUSOM decisions related to both your academic performance and ethical conduct. Your appeal may respond directly to any sanctions that the school imposes.
SUSOM's Student Consumer Information pamphlet explains that “A student may appeal a determination of unsatisfactory progress by submitting a written appeal to the school Director explaining why they did not meet satisfactory academic progress…”
The Promotion Committee handles appeals related to academic progress, probation, remediation, and other academic matters. If the Promotions Committee denies your appeal, then you may appeal to the Associate Dean of Basic Sciences or the Associate Dean of Clinical Medicine within three days of receiving the Promotion Committee's decision.
SUSOM generally allows students to initiate an appeals process by contacting the appropriate Associate Dean in writing. This may be how your attorney-advisor initiates an appeal related to alleged behavioral wrongdoing (as opposed to academic failures).
If your initial appeal does not produce a satisfactory outcome, then you may contact the appropriate Executive Dean for yet another appeal.
The appeals process at SUSOM is time-dependent, and a single mistake in the filing process could make your appeal ineligible. Do not try to handle your defense or appeal—both highly consequential to your future—without the help of a skilled attorney-advisor.
Attorney-Advisor for Your Medical School Issue
Issues affecting medical students can be abnormally harmful. Medicine's sky-high performance and academic standards magnify even the most innocent of errors. The medical school issue that you face may not only affect your record at SUSOM, prevent you from graduating, obtaining residency, and practicing medicine.
Fortunately, attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento has invaluable experience fighting for medical students in the Caribbean. He knows the eccentricities that Caribbean medical schools present. From understanding accreditation through the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) to defending students from alleged wrongdoing and helping them overcome academic challenges, attorney Joseph D. Lento has the experience necessary to help you.
Contact the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online to submit your case.