When you apply to medical school, you understand how difficult it will be, but what you can't see is the expectations that every school has for its students. Much of these expectations are set for the medical school's own reputation – no one wants to be known as the university that trained a doctor who suffers from chronic malpractice. South Carolina medical schools are no different, and students often end up feeling alone and overwhelmed. Sometimes this feeling can become crushing, pushing them to behave in ways they normally wouldn't. If you find yourself in a similar situation, an attorney advisor can help you advocate for yourself.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for South Carolina Medical Students
Before starting medical school classes, most schools will give their students a code of conduct. This code lays out specific rules they expect the student to follow, and while the specifics vary from school to school, it tends to cover both academic and professional settings. For example, if your school is like the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, it might ask you to refrain from using or attempting to use any unauthorized materials on an exam, breaching patient confidentiality, and from being excessively absent.
If your school determines that you have violated this code in any way, they will either enforce an academic misconduct action, place you in a remediation program, or recommend you for dismissal from the program altogether. The best way to ensure you are being heard during these proceedings is to work with an attorney advisor. Attorney advisors have the skill and knowledge to guarantee the university will uphold your rights to fair hearings.
Remediation at South Carolina Medical Schools
At the end of every semester, medical school faculty will review their student's files. If they believe the student is struggling to keep up with their course or clinical work, they will recommend the student for remediation. At the University of South Carolina School of Medicine, the committee that reviews remediation recommendations is called the Student Evaluation and Promotion Committee (SEPC). SEPC will review the student's academic, professional, and clinical performance and determine if a remediation program, or another long-term educational plan, is appropriate. A remediation program is simply a plan to retake courses, exams, or clinical clerkships that you might have failed or received a low score in.
Unfortunately, there are many medical schools that create remediation policies but allow struggling students to fall through the cracks. These students either barely pass or are recommended for dismissal without being given the opportunity to retake courses, exams, or clinical clerkships. If you feel your school is not upholding its remediation program policy, an attorney advisor will be able to point out to the medical school that you deserve the chance to remediate, and the opportunity has yet to be offered.
Dismissal From a South Carolina Medical Program
There are several reasons why students would be dismissed from the medical school program in South Carolina. For instance, at the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine in South Carolina, students are dismissed for violating academic integrity, failing to make academic progress through the program, behaving inappropriately, or failing to meet the technical standards of the college.
If you are brought before the dismissal committee at your medical school, you must be prepared to defend yourself fully. Medical students are allowed to present witnesses and evidence, as well as work with attorney advisors who can help advocate on their behalf. Attorney advisors will be able to review your case and create a strategic defense that ensures the committee does not make a hasty decision. Additionally, if you are not sufficiently defended during these proceedings, you may find that the consequences last longer than your time on campus. For instance, if you are dismissed, you might experience financial insecurity while you figure out another career path.
You've dreamed of being a doctor, don't let fear overwhelm and prevent you from following your dreams.
All medical students have specific due process rights the medical school is supposed to afford them. These rights include the right to face your accuser, the right to ask for a grade change or to be included in a remediation program, and the right to defend yourself against allegations. Once decisions like these are heard and adjudicated, medical schools must allow their students to appeal the decision.
Most schools include the appeal directions in their decision notification letters, putting students on notice that they have this option. The directions will include what grounds the appeals can be made on (i.e., bias, irregularities in the proceedings, etc.), where to submit the appeals, and the deadline for getting it in.
For students facing a suspension or dismissal, this is your last chance to keep your original dream of graduating from a medical school in South Carolina. If the idea of filing the appeal is daunting, an attorney advisor can help, making sure you include everything you need to get your side of the story across effectively.
Additionally, some appeals may still be denied despite your best efforts. Your attorney advisor will help you navigate the next steps if this happens. They will reach out to the Office of General Counsel and attempt to negotiate for an alternative resolution. Generally, these types of discussions are more successful than if you were to file a lawsuit against the medical school first.
South Carolina Medical Student Defense Advisor
There are several reasons to seek help from an attorney advisor, and we've highlighted most of them above, but the number one reason is to just feel supported. Navigating medical school is hard enough, add in feeling alone while undergoing a remediation program, academic violation, or a dismissal proceeding, and it can feel downright overwhelming. An attorney advisor can ease that stress by working with you one on one, gathering evidence, and contacting witnesses who may be able to testify on your behalf.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have years of experience helping medical students advocate for themselves to avoid unnecessary punishments or inappropriate dismissals. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.