Texas is home to a diverse and well-regarded slate of medical programs. Whether you're a Longhorn, Aggie, Mustang, Horned Frog, or otherwise, a degree from a medical program in Texas can open important professional and personal doors.
Texas pride runs throughout its medical programs—students can expect firm standards for both academic performance and professional conduct. Should you run afoul of your school's policies you may face remediation, suspension, dismissal, or other serious sanctions. If you find yourself in such circumstances, a qualified attorney-advisor will seek a resolution for you.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Texas Medical Students
Medical schools in Texas generally implement their own codes of conduct. Often referred to as an Honor Code, school-specific guidelines dictate when a student should (or should not) face discipline. Such codes may also explain academic standards and remediation procedures.
The code of conduct at your medical program may be similar to that of Texas A&M College of Medicine. All Aggies studying medicine must “not lie, cheat, or steal or tolerate those who do.” Your school may designate specific faculty, student-faculty boards, and departments to handle specific cases of alleged misconduct.
Medical students must be especially cognizant of professional standards. You may regularly work with fellow students, medical professionals, and even patients. If you face accusations of unprofessionalism in any aspect of your studies, you may face formal sanctions from your medical school—including but not limited to expulsion.
Remediation at Texas Medical Schools
More than most fields of study, medicine requires a rigorous academic curriculum. Faculty must be certain that graduating students have the skills, knowledge, and maturity to practice medicine responsibly. While your program's curriculum is surely rigorous, medical students have a guardrail known as remediation.
Before students face suspension or expulsion for substandard academic performance, they can generally remediate—or retake—coursework and examinations. Every school may handle remediation differently.
At Texas Tech University’s Paul L. Foster School of Medicine, for example, students may require remediation after a failing grade. Baylor College of Medicine may give students an “incomplete” grade for excessive absences, requiring the student to remediate the course before proceeding towards graduation.
It's essential that students understand their school's remediation policies. You must also understand that remediation isn't always necessary.
If you can secure a grade change or alternative resolution before remediation, you may want to do so. Remediation may be the last resort before suspension or dismissal. By enacting a grade change rather than remediating coursework, you maintain a buffer from possible suspension or dismissal. An attorney advisor will assess your personal circumstances and recommend a course of action.
Dismissal from a Texas Medical Program
Dismissal may seem like an impossibility for many medical students. You've worked tirelessly to gain admittance to medical school, how could expulsion possibly be justified?
Here's the truth: Medical programs in Texas will dismiss you for a number of infractions, from academic underperformance to alleged misconduct. Each medical school has specific adjudicative guidelines for cases involving possible expulsion.
You may already be aware that you're facing expulsion, and it's time to defend yourself as vigorously as possible. An inadequate defense of your character could lead your program to dismiss you, which in turn may cause:
- Reputational harm that you cannot overcome: Medical programs are famously selective. A dismissal from your current medical school may immediately eliminate you from other medical programs' candidate pools. At best, you may need to re-enroll in a subpar medical program. At worst, a dismissal could effectively end your pursuit of a medical degree.
- Substantial financial harm: Medical school is not cheap. You may have outstanding student loans, with plans to repay those loans through a career in medicine. If your medical studies end with a dismissal, you may need to find another profession that allows you to pay those debts.
- Lost academic credit: Credits you've accumulated at your current school may not translate to another medical program. Even if you are able to re-enroll in medical school after expulsion, you'll likely start from square one.
- Personal problems: Dismissal from medical school may be nothing short of traumatic for you. You've prepared psychologically for an inevitable graduation, and a sudden expulsion may be devastating. Do not underestimate the harm that can result from such a personal setback.
These aren't scare tactics but real possibilities that you must consider. Fortunately, your medical program has yet to decide the outcome of your case. Whether you're facing expulsion or a lesser sanction, don't fight on your own. Let an experienced attorney advisor lead your case.
Though each school operates independently (with some exceptions), every medical student deserves due process. Your rights may include:
- The right to hear specific allegations of misconduct
- The right to face your accuser(s)
- The right to a hearing conducted by your school's disciplinary body
- The right to request a grade change
- The right to appeal an unfavorable ruling
Appeals are particularly important, especially if you're facing suspension or expulsion. A fundamental aspect of due process, a successful appeal may lessen your sanctions or trigger dismissal of your case.
Your attorney-advisor will learn your school's appeals process before conducting your initial defense. They will be ready to file an appeal on your behalf if necessary.
Texas Medical Student Defense Advisor
Gaining admittance to any medical school is an accomplishment to be proud of. The caliber of medical programs in Texas may heighten your accomplishment even further. However, your admittance may mean little if you are not able to graduate from your medical program.
Even if you're not facing dismissal, you must contest any university-issued sanctions. Whether it's a formal reprimand, remediation, or another adverse outcome, any sanction threatens the integrity of your personal record. You may face long-lasting consequences if your university takes punitive action against you.
Attorney Joseph D. Lento dedicated his professional career to helping students overcome challenges, including the challenges that can arise on a medical student's journey to becoming a doctor. He and his team will launch an impassioned defense, aiming to preserve your reputation and ambitions in medicine. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case. You can also contact us online.