Student Defense: LMU-DCOM Knoxville

The Lincoln Memorial University DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine in Knoxville (DCOM Knoxville) is a recently-established osteopathic medical school. It uses the same curriculum as the main LMU DCOM campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, to grant the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine degree. DCOM Knoxville welcomed its first inaugural class in 2019 to increase the number of practitioners in Appalachia and the surrounding areas. Students look forward to working alongside professionals who help them realize their dreams of becoming doctors. But to continue on this path, you must constantly demonstrate high professional standards and maintain good grades.

As a future Osteopathic doctor, you hold significant responsibility toward society and your patients. Their vulnerable status means you can't mess up regarding their treatment and your behavior. Medical school is rigorous precisely for those reasons, and students face the possibility of suspension or dismissal for consistent academic failure or professionalism issues. However, sometimes students slip behind for multiple reasons unrelated to their competency. Moreover, mistakes do happen, especially since the student is still receiving training. In cases such as these, you need the help of an attorney-advisor who can help you navigate these challenges.

Professionalism at LMU-DCOM

All students attending LMU and studying Osteopathic Medicine must abide by the AOA Code of Ethics and the student handbook, which contains the code of conduct. As a future doctor, your professionalism and ethics make up the core components of your personality. It's not enough to merely know that you must act professionally. You must apply it in practice with sincerity due to the power imbalance between you and the patient. The training for this phase in your life starts at medical school.

Professionalism issues may lead to severe consequences, like suspension or expulsion. Even if these issues lead to a lower grade or temporary dismissal, you still lose time and money. Repeated code violations and professional matters mean that you may lose your placement at DCOM Knoxville. The school also has a policy regarding professional social media use. It regulates the behavior of medical students with one another and their patients. But while professional and behavioral issues are concerning for osteopathic medical students, they are not the only factors that can get them in trouble.


A firm grip on the material taught in medical school is a must to move on to the next phase of your education. If you're not doing well, you cannot work with patients who place their health and lives in your hands. Moreover, medical school isn't easy; it takes incredible patience and discipline to get results. When students falter academically, LMU-DCOMM Knoxville helps them improve their grades through remediation.

Remediation isn't for everyone and isn't a one-size-fits-all solution in unique cases. Many medical students fall behind their peers for multiple reasons unrelated to their knowledge and skills. They may face overwhelming pressure to succeed, affecting their mood and academic performance. Because the scenario differs between each case, students need the help of a professional attorney-advisor to navigate the process correctly.

Consequences of Expulsion

LMU-DCOMM Knoxville reserves expulsion for the most severe violations or chronic academic incompetence. This extreme sanction negatively affects your life and is difficult to pass through when facing a panel alone. Some of the issues you may face if you receive a permanent dismissal include:

  • Having the charge on your transcript: When a student receives a permanent dismissal, the university lists it on their transcript. An expulsion is awkward to explain to both admissions officers and hiring managers and may permanently affect your career opportunities.
  • Reputation damage: Students who have an expulsion on their transcript may face reputation damage due to the charge. Admissions officers prefer unblemished student records as opposed to those that come with issues.
  • Loss of effort and time: You cannot pick up where you left off with an expulsion charge. Even if you find another osteopathic medical school, you may need to start over.
  • Financial issues: Medical school sets students back thousands of dollars in debt. With an expulsion, you may face difficulties due to unexpected circumstances that force you to spend more money.

Since an expulsion has debilitating consequences on your future, you need the help of a skilled attorney-advisor that knows the risks and fights for your rights.

Steps to Take If Accused

If you face accusations of professionalism issues or academic incompetence, it's not the end of the world. You can still take steps to decrease the likelihood of a negative outcome. These include:

  • Gathering all information that helps you defend your case
  • Refrain from any suspicious or hostile actions
  • Staying calm and collected and not giving in to anger
  • Refraining from discussing the matter with peers or friends
  • Not posting about the issue on social media
  • Contacting an attorney-advisor immediately after receiving notice of an allegation

The more swiftly you act to resolve the issue, the better your chances will be of minimizing the impact of the allegation on your reputation and future.

Contacting an Attorney-Advisor

When you face allegations of academic or professional issues, you need the advice of a professional who understands what is on the line. Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento specializes in student defense. With years of experience helping students navigate the hearing process, Attorney-Advisor Lento helps highlight procedural errors, bias, and baseless claims.

Every case is unique, and Attorney-Advisor Lento approaches each one with care, attention to detail, and a willingness to negotiate. Whether the allegation was because of an honest mistake or a lapse in judgment, Attorney-Advisor Lento helps you fight for a fair case outcome.

Osteopathic medical school is hard and comes with considerable pressure to succeed. For someone dreaming of becoming a doctor, any allegation causes irreparable damage that lasts well beyond graduation. If you or someone you love faces allegations of academic or professional issues, call the Lento Law Firm at 888-535-3686.