George Hoyt Whipple M.D. was the first Dean of what is now known as the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry (URMC) in 1921. The leadership today at URMC remains dedicated to integrating academics with clinical patient care conducted at the adjacent Strong Memorial Hospital. The URMC Student Handbook details the expectations for the “academic, behavioral, and professionalism” of all admitted medical school students.
Medical school students are on a journey that will culminate with a career in practicing medicine. Rigid standards for academic success are the norm and each institution does maintain guidelines for professionalism. Medical students that are potentially facing serious disciplinary sanctions including suspension and dismissal may find themselves settling for less desirable residency options, employment opportunities, and reduced earning potential. Having a seasoned attorney in an advisory role is critical for protecting your rights and achieving a positive resolution.
Common Breaches of Professionalism
- Failures to reliably manage their wide range of academic and clinical responsibilities
- A failure to carefully honor the needs of all patients
- An inability to build proper rapport or empathy
Students are required to maintain high standards of professionalism in their academic and personal actions according to the Expectations for Medical Students. When these standards are not maintained, a student may face disciplinary measures that may include expulsion from URMC. Members of the community are encouraged to promptly report any potential breaches of professional conduct to the Advisory Dean or Assistance Dean for Student Affairs (ADSA). Students that are subject to potential disciplinary measures will receive a summons in writing for a meeting/hearing heard by the Medical Student Promotions and Review Board (MSPRB).
If it is later determined that a student falsified any information in the application process, they are likely to be dismissed. For students facing potential dismissal for unsatisfactory academic performance, the Academic Standing Committee may implement a suspension during the interim period before a final ruling is made. Student transcripts will contain a notation when any suspension or dismissal is ordered.
For dismissal, the MSPRB must arrive at a majority decision to approve the action. All disciplinary measures are supported by a written summary of evidence and justification for the ruling. Dismissed students are allowed to appeal decisions to the Review Committee.
Students that fail a course or clerkship are required to repeat the program; however, “marginal” performance is subject to remediation that is more focused on the particular deficiency. Successfully remediated courses are listed as “completed” on transcripts. Remediation work is scheduled for times when they have the least impact on the student's present coursework, which is ideally between semesters. All academic deficiencies are expected to be remediated promptly, as failing to do so will prevent promotion.
Experienced Advisory Attorney for Medical Students
Students enrolled in a medical school program who are the subject of serious disciplinary actions have much at stake, as having a spotless background is important in the medical profession. Students that are in remediation for substandard academic performance, violations involving academic integrity, and other similar concerns should promptly consult with an attorney. Retaining advisory representation better ensures the school's specific disciplinary guidelines are accurately interpreted and that you are afforded due process.
The leaders at today's premier institutions of medical education and research are dedicated to maintaining an unblemished reputation. The administrators that are designated with handling the disciplinary process may be motivated to promptly resolve these matters and impose disproportionately harsh penalties. Joseph D. Lento is a lawyer that comprehends the potentially devastating repercussions and will work diligently on your behalf. Contact the Lento Law Firm today at (888) 535-3686 for details.