Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (SHSU-COM) is committed to preparing students to practice primary care in rural areas with an unmatched cultural awareness and compassion. They hope to train physicians who will reinforce quality healthcare through biomedical and clinical research. As such, SHSU-COM has high expectations for its students, which can be downright overwhelming. If a student is found struggling to abide by the academic and professional standards SHSU-COM has set, they may be offered a remediation plan or brought before a disciplinary or dismissal committee. An attorney-advisor will be able to help students in similar situations to lessen any unnecessary consequences the university may try to impose. Call our offices today.

Academic and Professional Conduct for Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

The goal of SHSU-COM is to educate students who have demonstrated academic excellence in their undergraduate programs. The hope being that such students will continue the pursuit of academic excellence while attending medical school. To encourage this type of behavior, SHSU-COM has stipulated its expectations for the students' academic and professional behavior while enrolled. These stipulations can be found in the student handbook and include the following:

  • Develop lifelong learning habits
  • Quickly, accurately, and consistently integrate data into hands-on skills
  • Demonstrate respect for others, including patients, staff, colleagues, and administrators
  • Abstain from cheating or plagiarizing on an assignment or exam
  • Always uphold patient confidentiality
  • Maintain minimum satisfactory grades

If SHSU-COM student violates or disobeys these rules, they will be referred to the Student Promotions and Academic Progress (SPAP) committee for review. The SPAP committee may determine that the student needs a remediation plan, or that they should be disciplined in some way, including dismissal.

Remediation at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Each year, student records are reviewed at SHSU-COM by the SPAP committee to see if they are progressing through the program on an appropriate timeline. If a student is found struggling (i.e., they have failed multiple courses, exams, or clerkships), SPAP will help orchestrate a remediation program for them, allowing them to retake the exam, clerkship, or assignment. Additionally, the student may request a remediation plan from the course director once they are notified of the failing grade. If they successfully remediate the course, it will be reported on their transcript as a “PR” – “passed with remediation.”

In some instances, if a remediation is failed consecutively, SPAP or the course director may suggest the student repeat the entire year to ensure they truly understand the material. And, if a student continues to fail their remediation, or fails more than one clerkship, they could be referred for dismissal.

Dismissal Procedures for Medical Students at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Students can be dismissed from SHSU-COM for a few different reasons, including:

  • Demonstrating academic deficiency, personal irresponsibility, unprofessional or unethical behavior
  • Failing coursework consistently
  • Failing clerkships more than once
  • Barely passing classes

If a student is referred for dismissal, they will have the opportunity to present evidence and witness testimony at a hearing. Once the hearing committee has heard all of the evidence, they will determine whether or not dismissal is appropriate.

Unlike other universities, SHSU-COM does offer its students the ability to be readmitted after dismissal. This decision is made on a case-by-case basis and will not be offered to everyone. To be readmitted, the student must reapply to the program through the Admissions Committee. They will then inform the Dean of their decision and see if the Dean agrees. If the Dean agrees, the SPAP committee will determine where the student should be placed in the curriculum.

Appeal a Decision at Sam Houston State University College of Osteopathic Medicine

After the student receives the dismissal notice from the hearing committee, they will have ten working days to appeal the decision to SPAP. The appeal must be submitted in writing, with a detailed basis for the request, to the Associate Dean for Educational Affairs. That dean will then appoint an appeals committee to determine whether or not the original decision should be upheld, amended, or revoked outright. Their decision must be sent within two working days of receipt of the appeal.

If the appeal is not awarded, the student can appeal in writing to the Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs within ten working days. Whatever their decision is final and cannot be overturned.

Remember, if the idea of filing an appeal after going through the original hearing is overwhelming, an attorney advisor can help. Let Lento Law Firm shoulder some of that burden for you.

Why Work With an Attorney-Advisor

Attorney-advisors have a unique outlook on osteopathic medical school student issues. They understand the nuances of the disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal proceedings and have years of experience with the law. As such, a skilled attorney-advisor is your best bet for defending yourself from unnecessary consequences.

Many students do not think past the immediate moment and can't believe the types of consequences that could follow them after being punished by, or dismissed from, their medical school. For instance, if you are suspended or dismissed, the punishment will be noted on your transcripts. So, when you apply to another program to finish your education or to a fellowship after graduation, you will have to explain what happened on the application and to the admissions board. Additionally, many students face mental health struggles after being sanctioned by the school in some way. They have come face to face with failure and now have to deal with the ramifications of their actions, which can be extremely overwhelming.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm will work tirelessly to gather evidence and witnesses to testify on your behalf. They have years of experience helping students navigate these proceedings, offering them strong defenses in the process. Call 888-535-3686 today or schedule a consultation online.

Contact Us Today!


If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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