Student Defense: Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

The Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) is a private osteopathic medical school founded in 2007 in Harrogate, Tennessee. After graduation and training, students attending LMU-DCOM benefit from a value-based learning environment that helps them serve the Appalachian community and beyond. LMU-DCOM also has an additional campus in the same state in Knoxville. With state-of-the-art facilities and a talented faculty team, students have multiple opportunities to find residencies and careers upon graduation. However, they must demonstrate the highest principles of professionalism and have no academic issues to progress.

As an Osteopathic medical student, you have a significant amount of pressure to perform and maintain good grades. Although this is undoubtedly an exciting time in your path to becoming a doctor, it's also a road that comes with multiple obstacles. Whether it is stress, lack of sleep, long hours studying, or personal issues, any mistake you make can lead to problems with placement. For the most severe offenses or chronic underperformance, you may face sanctions that include suspension and expulsion. Without the help of an attorney-advisor, you may experience graduation delays or, in worst-case scenarios, not be able to graduate at all due to sanctions.

Professionalism and Honor Code

The student handbook contains the honor code for the College of Osteopathic Medicine. It lists the institution's principles and the expectations administrators have for students. According to the handbook, students must strive to act honorably and be responsible for maintaining integrity, self-reflection, and positive interactions with others. Students who fail to meet professional and ethical standards must answer to the Ethics and Honor Code Committee established by the college. If a serious issue arises, students may need to face a hearing because of the violations.

Every medical student's duty is to maintain exemplary behavior and professional standards that reflect the gravity of their future roles as doctors. However, sometimes mistakes happen that are out of character. Whether these lapses in judgment are due to pressure or stress, they can significantly impact an osteopathic medicine student's life.


Maintaining high grades is a requirement at the college, as it is for all medical students wishing to work with patients once they graduate. LMU-DCOM also has a remediation policy in its student handbook. If students fail a course, they receive a status of Academic Probation. They must speak to the Student Progress Committee and course director to discuss whether they can remediate their course block exams.

Although remediation may be inconvenient for some, they must remain enrolled and successfully move on to the next phase of their education. In some cases, however, you may have the chance to negotiate with administrators regarding the process. In such cases, the advice and guidance of an attorney-advisor help improve your chances of a more favorable outcome.

Consequences of a Suspension and Expulsion

A permanent or temporary dismissal carries severe consequences for an osteopathic medical student. It's not easy to start over when you spend time and effort working on your degree, especially if you only have a few semesters left. The good news is that suspension and expulsion only apply to the most severe or repeated cases. The bad news is that their consequences are life-altering and include:

  • Not being able to start over in another program
  • Losing years of time and effort
  • Having a notation on your transcript
  • Suffering reputation damage that extends beyond medical school
  • Not being able to find placement in a new osteopathic medical school
  • Having more debt than when you started
  • Taking on unexpected expenses
  • Finding new housing
  • Losing scholarships and other perks

Because it can be challenging to bounce back after such sanctions, it's critical that you approach the issue with patience and calmness. If you let the subject "take its course" and don't defend yourself against allegations, the odds of you receiving a favorable case outcome decrease.

Steps to Take When Facing an Allegation

Suppose you receive notice of an allegation against you for professionalism concerns or academic issues. In that case, every step you take has a detrimental impact on your outcome. Although each problem is unique and has its challenges, there are some things you can do to decrease the likelihood of facing issues down the line. Some of these include:

  • Staying calm and not letting anger or fear cloud your judgment
  • Not discussing the matter with friends or anyone not related to the case
  • Look for people who can vouch for your good character and act as witnesses if necessary
  • Not posting any incriminating evidence or anything about the issue on social media
  • Gather as much data and information as you can about the case so that you can build a strong defense
  • Call an attorney-advisor who specializes in student defense

The longer it takes to act, the less likely you'll experience a positive outcome. Don't wait until you have to appeal a decision to speak to someone who can guide you through this stressful process.

Contacting an Attorney-Advisor

Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento understands what you and your family are going through during this difficult time. With years of experience working with osteopathic medicine students countrywide, attorney-advisor Lento seeks the best possible outcome for your case. Mr. Lento can identify bias, procedural errors, and other issues that compromise the integrity of the hearing process. Additionally, Mr. Lento negotiates with the panel for a fair result.

Whether you made a genuine mistake or experienced a lapse in judgment, you are allowed to not always "get it right" as a student. No matter how complex your case is, you have a right to due process and defend yourself against accusations.

You spent many nights and days studying and learning to become an osteopathic doctor at LMU-DCOM. Don't let an allegation delay or eliminate your chances of graduating.

If you or someone you love faces professionalism concerns or academic issues at LMU-DCOM, don't wait until it's too late. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 for help.