The University of Minnesota Medical School draws its roots back to 1888 when three private medical schools surrendered their charters and merged. Today, with campuses in Minneapolis and Duluth, UMN Medical School is part of one of the largest Academic Health Centers in America. It is also considered one of America's largest hubs for medical research, encompassing nearly a dozen research facilities. Medical students at UMN are held to high standards of academics, health, safety, ethics, and professionalism as detailed in the Medical Student Policies and Student Conduct Code.
Training for a career in medicine requires a high level of academic, professional, and ethical commitment, and violations of these standards are taken seriously. Medical students strive to maintain high academic achievement and a pristine record to assure opportunities for career advancement down the road. Disciplinary actions on a student's record can greatly affect their future career, which is why having an attorney-advisor involved in disciplinary hearings can go a long way toward ensuring the student's rights and reputation are protected.
Code of Conduct
Students at the University of Minnesota Medical School agree to abide by UMN's Code of Conduct as outlined by the Board of Regents. The Guiding Principles of the Code of Conduct “seeks an environment that promotes academic achievement and integrity, that is protective of free inquiry, and that serves the educational mission of the University.” The Guiding Principles also assure students of “due process and procedural fairness protections” in cases of complaints and allegations of misconduct.
The Code of Conduct details an extensive list of “disciplinary offenses” that include academic, professional, ethical, and other types of infractions. Allegations that cannot be resolved through informal means will be subject to review by a formal hearing in front of a panel. If a student is found to have committed misconduct worthy of disciplinary action, that student may avail himself/herself of the outlined appeals process before the action becomes final.
Sanctions for Misconduct
If the University finds a student to be in serious or repeated violations, that student may be subject to a variety of sanctions, ranging in severity from basic probation and warnings to restitution, restriction of privileges, suspension/expulsion from University Housing and suspension/expulsion from the university itself. Some disciplinary sanctions may appear on a medical student's permanent record, damaging their reputation and hurting their chances for career advancement.
A medical career calls for a high level of skill and professionalism to ensure public trust. For this reason, the University of Minnesota Medical School's curriculum and academic schedule can be exceptionally demanding. Even the most diligent students may have trouble keeping pace with the schedule or maintaining passing grades. Failure to meet minimum academic standards may put the student's financial aid at risk, and in some cases result in dismissal.
For medical students encountering academic problems or failing to meet the schools' strict criteria, remedial courses will generally be recommended as an alternative to other types of discipline or dismissal. Remediation is an important tool for keeping medical students in compliance with scholastic requirements while ensuring they qualify for the high standards of excellence demanded by a career in medicine.
Occasionally, remediation is mandated as a disciplinary action on inaccurate allegations of poor performance, and the student may appeal or challenge grades to reverse this decision. However, in cases where the student is facing dismissal, remediation can be a better alternative, and may even rescue the student's future career.
Dismissal from medical school for any reason can be devastating to the student and seriously jeopardize their career. The ramifications of such an action extend far beyond the immediate humiliation of being expelled, leading to a cascade of problems. For example:
- The student may not be able to get a medical education elsewhere. Medical schools in general are highly selective in whom they accept. Students who have been dismissed from other institutions aren't considered priority candidates.
- The student may lose ground academically. A dismissal effectively negates any academic progress made, so if the student does get back into school, they will have months or years of courses to make up. If the university also rescinds previous degrees earned, this, too, can complicate matters.
- The student gets potentially buried in debt. Student loans are still due and payable, even if the student is expelled. Without the promise of a medical career to pay back the loans, a student could start out in life with far more debt than they equipped to carry.
If a school finds a student's behavior or performance worthy of disciplinary action, that student has the right to use various appeals channels before the ruling becomes final. When discipline has been issued unfairly, the appeals process may be critical in saving the student's reputation, academic record, and ultimately, their career.
Attorney-Advisor for Medical Students
Medical students rely on a good academic and professional record for career opportunities in medicine. Likewise, medical schools are under pressure to maintain high standards and remain above reproach. As a result, despite the best of intentions, a student may occasionally be disciplined harshly, unfairly or without the full extent of due process. In such cases, an attorney-advisor can help preserve due process, make sure the student's side is fairly heard, and even prevent unfair tarnishing of the student's personal and professional reputation. Contact the Lento Law Firm at (888) 535-3686 today for more information.