The University of Kansas School of Medicine (KUSOM) has a long-running history dating back to 1880 when KU offered its first “Preparatory Medical Course.” The KU School of Medicine didn't officially open until 1905 when it partnered with Bell Memorial Hospital to train future doctors and nurses.
KUSOM has come a long way in a century-plus and today boasts an Alzheimer's Disease center affiliated with the National Institutes of Health, eight departments that rank in the Top 25 nationally, and several renowned research centers.
Medical students at KU have tremendous resources at their fingertips but must earn their access to these resources. Any academic transgression, failure in the classroom, or professional error could compromise one's status at KU. If you or a child face sanctions or remediation at KUSOM, hire attorney-advisor Joseph Lento for guidance and legal services.
KUSOM Medical Student Honor Code
The KUSOM Medical Students Assembly (MSA) adopted the Medical Student Honor Code on December 14, 2014, and revised the Code on October 21, 2019.
The KUSOM Medical Student Honor Code’s stated purpose is “to ensure that members of the University of Kansas School of Medicine maintain integrity in moral and ethical conduct.”
A KU Medical Student may violate the Honor Code if they:
- Plagiarize or falsify data
- Intentionally undermine other students' academic performances
- Place anyone at an increased risk of harm, including illness and injury
- Disclose patient information in an unauthorized or illegal manner
- Act dishonestly to gain an academic advantage
KUSOM students have a stringent expectation of academic integrity and professionalism. If you face accusations of unprofessionalism or academic misconduct, then the KU School of Medicine Honor Council may oversee your case.
For violations of the Honor Code, the KUSOM Honor Council can impose one or more of the following sanctions:
- Suspension of one semester
- Suspension of multiple semesters
- Academic probation (which may last for one or more semesters)
- A written reprimand, which is “placed in the student's permanent academic file”
These sorts of sanctions can damage not only your pursuits at KU but your professional ambitions as well.
Remediation at KU School of Medicine
Because medical school is extraordinarily difficult by nature, KUSOM has systems to address subpar academic performance. KU medical students must complete the ACE (Active-learning, Competency-based, Excellence-driven) Curriculum, which “systematically introduces foundational and clinical content across the four years [of medical school].”
As you work through this block-based curriculum, structured around specific organ systems, you may run into academic difficulty. The KUSOM reserves the last week of each nine-week academic block for remediation, a process that allows students to rectify any academic or performance-based shortcomings.
KUSOM’s Student Promotions and Special Programs Committee may summon you for an academic hearing if you fail to meet the university's core standards. This body may ultimately recommend remediation or other steps that could permanently affect your academic record.
It could be in your interest to complete the remediation process. However, it is generally preferable to avoid remediation if a more palatable option—such as an increase of your grade upon appeal—is available. Your attorney-advisor will survey your options and provide necessary guidance.
Expulsion from KUSOM
You may be expelled from KU School of Medicine for:
- Failing to meet minimum academic standards
- Failing to complete remediation successfully
- Engaging in unprofessional behavior
- Failing to complete probationary conditions
- Engaging in academic dishonesty
The KUSOM Academic and Professionalism Committee (APC) generally handles cases involving academic performance and instances of alleged professionalism.
Note: Your attorney-advisor will quickly determine which administrative body will handle your case, whether it is the APC, Honor Council, or other body.
The APC oversees the “formal process for making decisions that may affect the status of a medical student, as well as the appeal process for decisions of the APC related to retention, advancement or graduation.”
The APC will conduct a hearing before recommending your dismissal (or other sanctions). During this hearing, you will have the chance to:
- Contest any of the allegations against you
- Explain why you failed to meet academic or professionalism standards
- Present faculty representatives to testify on your behalf
- Submit any relevant documentation
While your attorney-advisor cannot attend the APC hearing, they may be instrumental in your preparation. You must submit specific requests and details (such as a witness list) to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs before your hearing, and your attorney-advisor can handle such duties for you.
You will generally receive notification of the APC's decision no more than 48 hours after your hearing. Medical students typically have the right to appeal decisions, whether those decisions come from the APC, KUSOM Honor Council, or another university body.
Appeals at the KUSOM
Once you receive notice of sanctions against you, you have ten days to file an appeal with the Executive Dean of the KUSOM. KU generally permits appeals if:
“(i) proper procedures have not been followed
(ii) the student believes the determination to dismiss is excessive given the violations; or
(iii) the student has obtained new relevant information that was not available at the time of the hearing.”
Your attorney-advisor will investigate any other pertinent grounds for appeal. Your academic and professional standing are worth a full, comprehensive defense. A complete defense includes, but is not limited to, taking full advantage of KUSOM's appeals process.
Hiring Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento for Medical School Issues
The pressure to perform academically exists even before you enter the KU School of Medicine. A medical student faces a veritable minefield of challenges between coursework, inexperience, and the complex professional standards that apply to the medical field.
You should not sacrifice your hard work and impressive reputation without a capable defense. Whether you're dealing with issues of academic hardship or alleged wrongdoing, attorney Joseph D. Lento is a skilled advisor who will fight for you.
Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm specialize in medical student issues nationwide. Joseph D. Lento and his team will guide you through all meetings, hearings, and related procedures as they seek the best resolution for you. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 to find out precisely how we can help you.