In 1886, the Western Pennsylvania Medical College was established and has since become the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (UPMC). The school's mission includes promoting advancements through “cutting-edge biomedical research and innovative educational programs in medicine and biomedical science.” Students are expected to maintain high standards of achievement in their personal, academic, and professional lives that represent the medical profession.
Medical schools demand a great deal of effort from all students. They are expected to achieve excellence in academic performance, professionalism, and integrity. Medical school students that are in remediation and having difficulty progressing academically or those facing potential disciplinary actions for acts of misconduct have their future at stake. Students are encouraged to speak to their families and promptly retain an attorney-adviser that will lend critical support and guidance.
Common Examples of Unprofessional Conduct
- Breaching patient confidentiality
- Failing to acknowledge shortcomings after receiving constructive evaluations and feedback
- Communicating or outwardly expressing themselves in a manner that appears demeaning or discourteous
The School of Medicine considers professionalism to be a core competency for medical professionals. Students who are the subject of allegations (respondents) regarding a breach of professional standards are notified in writing. The respondent may be summoned to a hearing by the Student Conduct Officer where evidence and witness testimony may be presented.
Possible Dismissal from UPMC
Dismissal is generally an appropriate sanction for very serious violations, those already suspended or on probation, or for students that have accrued multiple violations. The Conduct Hearing Board is responsible for making disciplinary recommendations that are presented to the Vice Provost and Dean of Students who may approve or modify the sanctions. Students that seek to appeal a ruling must submit the request in writing within five business days.
The UPMC Policy on Academic Remediation is designed to assist students that are failing to maintain satisfactory academic performance. Those pursuing an MD degree are contacted by the Committee on Student Promotions and a program of remediation is developed. In most cases, students are required to retake all the courses for that term. UPMC policies state that a course may only be retaken (re-mediated) once.
Professional Advisory Representation for Medical Students
The future physician workforce is dependent on maintaining high standards for integrity and professional conduct at the educational level. Students struggling to maintain satisfactory academic achievement will face the remediation process. Those subject to disciplinary action for unprofessional behavior may face sanctions such as suspension or expulsion. Students with records and transcripts that show a history of misconduct or similar violations are much less likely to be accepted into the more sought-after residency programs, employment opportunities, etc.
Students facing potential sanctions such as dismissal from a medical school program must take decisive action. This involves promptly retaining an experienced attorney-adviser to assist by ensuring the school's disciplinary provisions and processes are interpreted and assist in your preparation. This course of action can help to minimize the likelihood of harsh sanctions being imposed and other potentially adverse long-term consequences. You are encouraged to contact attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 for assistance.