University of Medicine and Health Sciences (UMHS) in St. Kitts offers students the chance at a medical education that “compares with most U.S. medical schools Though students may face unfamiliarity and unique challenges native to Caribbean medical schools, graduation from UMHS could be the first step in achieving your medical ambitions.
There are, however, serious challenges that may arise during your time at UMHS. Grade-related misunderstandings, allegations of unprofessional behavior, and sub-standard academic performance may spell potential disaster for you. Accreditation problems related to the Caribbean Accreditation Authority for Education in Medicine and Other Health Professions (CAAM-HP) may also be a reason for concern.
While UMHS may have granted you the opportunity to pursue your M.D., do not assume an easy resolution to your medical student issue should one arise during your time at school. Get the necessary help and guidance by having attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento in your corner. The Lento Law Firm passionately represents and defends those who are pursuing a future in medicine. Attorney Lento and his Firm will seek to avoid undue consequences or minimize the harm caused by your issue at UMHS.
Student Standards at UMHS in St. Kitts
While the label does not always apply, Caribbean medical schools have a reputation for leniency in the admissions process. This perception could lead some students to believe that schools like UMHS do not take academics or professionalism seriously—this assumption is false. In some instances, Caribbean medical schools in fact take a harder line approach in their approach and intended resolution to student issues and missteps.
UMHS Academic Policies provide standards that all medical students must abide by. Those standards include:
Code of Ethics
The UMHS Code of Ethics reads, “Students must comply with professional standards of medicine in both personal and professional aspects of life in order to maintain a professional learning environment during enrollment at UMHS.”
Criteria for Academic Probation
Academic probation may be the first step towards an academic suspension or dismissal. To avert possible probation (and more serious sanctions), you will need to achieve minimum academic standards as set by UMHS.
The university may issue formal sanctions for alleged academic misconduct, behavior that does not align with the school's professional standards, substandard academic work, and other punishable issues.
Remediation at UMHS in St. Kitts
Medical schools in the Caribbean and elsewhere use the term “remediation” when a student must retake some type of academic block. You may need to remediate a single exam, a course, an entire academic year, or another segment of your education at UMHS.
UMHS in St. Kitts provides specific course objectives for medical students’ core classes. The ‘Student Progress' section of UMHS' Academic Policies lists circumstances that may lead to remediation, including:
- Failure to complete course-specific objectives
- Failing to attend 80% of classes and 100% of labs
- Excessive lateness
- Failing to maintain a 2.0 GPA
- Taking a leave of absence that disrupts your coursework
- Failing to earn at least a “C” in every course
- Failing to complete coursework in the allotted timeframe
- Failing to complete all clinical rotations in the allotted timeframe
The Dean of the Basic Science or Clinical Science Division issues the final ruling for academic cases. Options at the Dean's disposal include, but are not limited to, remediation, suspension, and dismissal from UMHS. Remediation may necessarily mean that you are on academic probation while retaking coursework.
Medical school students generally hope to avoid remediation, let alone suspension or dismissal. Once you are engaged in remediation (and on probation), “any subsequent failure in a repeated course or during a probationary term will be considered grounds for academic dismissal.”
Even if you complete remediation successfully, the record of your remediation will remain. Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento will explore preferable options that allow you to continue your education without a lasting record of remediation.
Dismissal at UMHS in St. Kitts
UMHS lists broad criteria for dismissal: “If student behavior necessitates disciplinary action, students may be suspended or dismissed by the dean.” The specific Deans who make suspension and dismissal decisions are the Dean of the Basic Science and Dean of Clinical Science Division.
As previously stated, academic issues—such as unsatisfactory grades and failure to complete a clerkship—can trigger dismissal. UMHS also reserves the right to dismiss students found in violation of conduct standards. Academic dishonesty and unprofessional behavior are two possible grounds for dismissal.
The Promotions & Appeals Committee may conduct THE hearing regarding your pending dismissal, especially if your issue is academic in nature. The Dean of the Basic Science or Clinical Science Division may also be instrumental in the appeals process.
It is vital that you defend yourself from a potential dismissal and any other pending sanctions. Sanctions issued by UMHS in St. Kitts may:
- Prevent you from graduating
- Diminish your odds of graduating
- Harm your chances of acceptance to a medical residency program
- Prevent you from practicing medicine
- Significantly diminish your quality of life
You are financially responsible for any debt that you've accrued to attend medical school. Joseph D. Lento will fight to help you avoid the potentially crushing consequences of medical school sanctions.
You have the right to appeal any decision that produces disciplinary action against you. You have the right to appear before the “grievance committee” to plead your case. You have this right in the case of either academic or non-academic student issues. You may be permitted to have an attorney-advisor in the room during this hearing process.
The grievance committee will issue a ruling. If you do not agree with the ruling, then you may be eligible for appeal. Decisions involving dismissal are always eligible for appeal.
The UMHS Student Handbook Section 2.6(F) explains varying appeals processes for different sanctions. You generally have five days to file an appeal with the Dean of Basic Sciences. This one-week filing period makes it critical that your attorney-advisor act quickly on your behalf.
Attorney-Advisor for Your Medical Student Issue at UMHS in St. Kitts
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento understands the rigors of medical school, especially when a student in the Caribbean may be facing additional burdens being further from home and family. Errors in judgment and misunderstandings happen—but the consequences of these issues lie in your response to the problem.
The Lento Law Firm works to preserve medical students' academic and professional dreams. Whether you need us to petition for a grade change, explain an academic challenge or absence from UMHS, refute allegations of wrongdoing, or fight for you in any other way, our team is prepared.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 or contact us online here.