Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (Uniformed Services University, or USU) embraces a lofty goal: training “an elite group of health care professionals and researchers across all military services.” As America's federal health professions academy, USU serves a vital role in our nation's fabric—training the service members who will care for the lives of other service members.

Students at USU face exceptional pressures. Though they don't pay tuition, USU enrollees will repay their education through service. USU students voluntarily surround themselves with the best of the best, and the internal pressure to achieve may be unlike other medical programs.

Though they've taken a pledge of service, medical students at USU are human. They're subject to poor performance, ethical lapses, and other vulnerabilities. If you find yourself facing remediation or discipline while at USU, hire an attorney-advisor to help.

Though service and service-adjacent academies may be fair, they may not hesitate to take disciplinary measures.

Professionalism Policy at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

Note: The USU’s Department of Preventive Medicine and Biostatistics (PMB) Information Handbook will inform most references to policy herein.

USU medical students are bound by a four-paragraph statement detailing “Responsible Conduct of Science.” That statement reads, in part:

I will demonstrate honesty, integrity and professionalism in planning, conducting, interpreting and reporting my scientific research. My work will be rigorous, unbiased, ethical, scholarly, and as far as possible, objective…I will show respect for fellow students and researchers, ensuring that they receive appropriate credit for their contributions to the research.

This statement encompasses both academic and professionalism standards for USU medical students. Codes of Conduct detailed in the PMB Information Handbook:

  • Demand professionalism in all interactions with faculty
  • Prohibit harassment and sexual misconduct
  • Prohibit plagiarism, forgery, and other forms of academic misconduct
  • Require students to report any unprofessionalism or academic misconduct that they witness

An alleged violation of USU's policies on professionalism and academic misconduct will generally lead to an investigation. That investigation may lead to sanctions against the accused. USU's Graduate Education Committee generally handles cases of unprofessional conduct, including academic integrity violations. This Committee has the power to issue sanctions, including but not limited to dismissal.

Remediation at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The USU’s Academic Policies detail what you must do to progress towards graduation. Grading and Promotion Policies are of particular concern, especially if you're teetering on the edge of passing and failing.

All courses and clerkships you'll complete at USU are graded as either Pass/Fail or Honors/Pass/Fail. All USU students must also pass the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE), Step 1 and 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge), and CS (Clinical Skills) examinations before graduating.

The Student Promotions Committee monitors the academic progress of every USU medical student. The Committee also monitors a student's:

  • Professionalism
  • Attitude
  • Interactions with superior officers

Shortcomings in any of these areas could lead the Student Promotions Committee to recommend:

  • Remediation
  • Deceleration
  • Dismissal

Only the Dean of the School of Medicine has the power to actually dismiss you from USU.

If the Student Promotions Committee recommends remediation or deceleration, then you may have the chance to protest the order. There may be downsides to remediation or deceleration, namely a delayed graduation date. An attorney-advisor can help you decide whether to protest any recommendation issued by the Student Promotions Committee.

Unlike most medical students, tuition is not generally a concern for those attending USU. However, there may be other reasons to pause before undergoing remediation.

Possible Dismissal From the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

The USU PMB Information Book states that “Students whose behavior or performance is judged to be unethical are subject to dismissal even though they are otherwise in good academic standing.” You can also face dismissal for significant or repeated academic underperformance.

USU literature sheds little light on actual dismissal procedures. In cases of academic misconduct or poor performance, the Graduate Education Committee will review the case and may recommend dismissal. If the Committee does recommend dismissal, then the Dean of the School of Medicine may uphold the recommendation.

There is also limited information available about appeals. You should, however, be able to:

  1. Defend yourself from possible dismissal
  2. Appeal an order of dismissal

The lack of clarity in USU's dismissal policies makes it critical that you hire an attorney-advisor. Your attorney will work diligently to understand dismissal proceedings. They'll prepare you for these proceedings as thoroughly as they can.

Should you fail to defend yourself and accept an order of dismissal, then you may:

  • Receive the equivalent of a dishonorable discharge from the university
  • Be unable to join the armed forces
  • Face difficulty enrolling in other medical programs
  • Be forced to change career paths
  • Experience shame, stigma, and other negative emotions
  • Lose your opportunity to graduate debt-free from a top-tier medical university

Dismissal is not in the plans for any student who enters USU medical school. An attorney-advisor will seek to spare you the negative consequences of dismissal.

Appealing a Decision by the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences

If you're eligible to file an appeal, an attorney-advisor will complete the appeals process for you. Appeals are central to due process and are generally permitted in cases involving dismissal—as well as other case types.

Your attorney-advisor may also negotiate with the USU's Office of the General Counsel (OGC). The OGC may have the authority to resolve your case and may offer a more beneficial outcome than would be available otherwise.

Hiring an Experienced Attorney-Advisor for a Medical School Issue

The USU’s stated mission is to “support the readiness of Learning to America's Warfighter and the health and well-being of the military community by educating and developing uniformed health professionals, scientists and leaders.” You may not graduate from the USU medical program until you meet the high standard of a uniformed health professional.

Academic, professional, or ethical problems can prevent you from graduating. The Lento Law Firm will provide a capable, passionate defense for you. The opportunities that lie ahead of you are far too great to relinquish without a fight. Let Joseph D. Lento and his team serve you.

Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online.

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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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