Established in 1992, the Saba University School of Medicine (SABA) aims to create an atmosphere of collaborative learning that centers on the needs of diverse patient communities. Its location on the scenic island of Saba allows students to take in the best of both worlds: receiving a world-class medical education within one of the world's most beautiful islands. With multiple career opportunities available after graduation, students at SABA practice medicine in the US – but they must maintain professional standards becoming of their future profession.
Students who violate the student code of conduct face repercussions ranging from probation to full-on expulsion. While permanent dismissal is a last-resort option reserved for severe infarctions, even a temporary dismissal has long-term consequences on a medical student's career path. Students who make honest mistakes or are victims of baseless allegations may find that their dream is no longer possible due to overly harsh sanctions. An advisor who understands the competitive nature of Caribbean medical schools helps students avoid unfair policies that upend their professional aspirations.
Physicians are in positions of public trust, necessitating that they maintain stringent professional and ethical standards in and out of the workplace. SABA expects students to demonstrate these standards while they are still learning to become a lifelong habit after graduation. Upon matriculation, SABA mandates that students sign and agree to an honor code contract.
The academic policies outlined in the student handbook provide a guide for student conduct, which includes acknowledging that:
“The highest standards of personal conduct are expected and required of students at the Saba University School of Medicine. Inappropriate conduct while on the island of Saba or during clinical training may result in immediate dismissal from the medical school program”.
Students must strive to maintain professional conduct at all times during their stay on the island or face permanent dismissal. Even if students made an honest mistake or facing baseless accusations, there is still a significant risk of delaying their career due to sanctions.
Some students struggle with consistently maintaining their grades, which causes them to lag behind their peers. Students that cannot keep up academically must meet with the Promotions Committee to determine the appropriate remediation steps. The committee places students under academic probation. The Assistant Dean of Student Affairs monitors the progress of students who underperform until they make progress.
Remediation is a challenge for some students, especially those who face personal issues causing diversion from their studies. Despite their inconvenience, remediation is necessary if students wish to remain at SABA and eventually graduate. Those who consistently fail to improve face expulsion, severely undermining their academic progress and stalling their medical career.
SABA has clear guidelines regarding the dismissal of medical students. Four factors may incur expulsion from the school, including the inability to maintain good grades, academic misconduct, unprofessional/unethical behavior, and violating the laws of the island of Saba. Expulsion has significant drawbacks and places medical students at a disadvantage. Some of the issues students could face after removal from SABA include:
- Difficulties when seeking another program. Students may assume that it is easy to overcome expulsion by registering in another medical school. While that is possible, it may take more time than the student expects due to the mark on their permanent record. Admissions officers are less keen to accept applications that include expulsion for unprofessional behavior.
- Years of lost progress. One of the biggest obstacles that prevent people from pursuing a medical degree is the length of time it takes to complete a degree. A permanent dismissal causes students to lose years of progress, time, and effort. Some may find that repeating the process from scratch is not worth the trouble and pursue a non-medical degree.
- Unexpected financial burdens. Student loans already take years to pay off, even after students graduate with no obstacles. Registration in a new medical program will cost medical students more than initially thought, adding even more years required to pay them off.
SABA encourages students to resolve outstanding issues with professors before resorting to an official grievance process. Suppose the issue requires escalation and there is no resolution. In that case, the student can send a written letter to the Associate Dean. The latter reviews the problem and recommends penalties. If students disagree with the decision, they can contact the Executive Dean at SABA, who makes a final decision based on the case details.
Formulating an appeals letter is a necessary part of the process. Still, many students may not know how to complete this step correctly. A skilled advisor ensures that appeals letters contain the correct information to decrease the likelihood of an unfavorable case outcome. Moreover, an advisor can identify whether irregularities in the investigation process place students at a disadvantage or prevent them from receiving a fair result.
Hiring an Advisor
Medical students already face multiple obstacles during their academic journey. Without the proper moral and professional support when the worst happens, students risk losing years of progress, missing their goal of becoming a doctor. An advisor understands what is at stake and the price students pay when receiving harsh sanctions. By creating a foolproof defense strategy and supporting students through this challenging time, the chances of coming to a favorable conclusion increase.
All students make mistakes, and an unfair allegation or baseless claims should not derail your progress. Having an advisor by your side during these troubling times reduces the likelihood of sanctions upending your medical career and gives you the confidence to fight for your rights.
If you face allegations of professional misconduct at SABA, don't wait until it's too late to make a difference. Advisor Joseph D. Lento helps you generate a strategy for success, reducing the likelihood of graduation delays or, worse – expulsion.
Your dream of becoming a doctor doesn't have to end because of a baseless or unfair accusation that upends your future career as a doctor. Call Lento Law Firm without delay for an in-depth consultation regarding professional misconduct allegations from SABA at 888-535-3686.