University of Utah School of Dentistry

The University of Utah School of Dentistry (UUSOD) is dedicated to educating future dental professionals in the art and science of comprehensive oral health so that they can provide exceptional patient care to the communities they serve. They expect their students to make a meaningful impact on the oral health of typically underserved individuals and lead improvements and innovation in oral healthcare. To do so, students are expected to excel in both their academic and professional pursuits. Pressure like this can have seriously negative effects on the abilities of even the most studious individual. So, it is no wonder that some students begin to crumble under this pressure and behave in ways they normally wouldn't.

Attorney Joseph D. Lento has spent years helping students accused of a code of ethics violation, in need of a remission plan, or who have been notified of a dismissal hearing. Call our offices today for help.

University of Utah School of Dentistry Code of Ethics

At the University of Utah School of Dentistry, students must follow a specific code of ethics. This code encompasses both their academic and professional behavior, including asking them to:

  • Conduct research in an unbiased manner
  • Uphold patient confidentiality
  • Interact with instructors and peers in a respectful way
  • Not tolerate discrimination of any form
  • Not use substances that will impair their clinical responsibilities
  • Seek help from their supervisors when their level of experience is inadequate to handle the situation presented
  • Participate fully in enforcing the code of ethics
  • Not use their professional position to engage in a romantic relationship with patients or their family members

In addition, students must maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. That is, they must not commit academic misconduct, including:

  • Cheating: using or attempting to use unauthorized materials on an exam, paper, or other assignment
  • Plagiarizing: presenting someone else's words or ideas as their own on an exam, paper, or other assignment
  • Research misconduct
  • Misrepresenting work as their own when someone else has completed it
  • Inappropriately collaborating on an assignment, exam, or paper

When a student is accused of violating the code of ethics at UUSOD, they will be punished by the faculty member that has accused them. But they have an opportunity to appeal this punishment by contacting the Academic Appeals Committee. If you are unsure of how to proceed with an appeal, Attorney Lento can help walk you through the steps.

Remediation at the University of Utah School of Dentistry

UUSOD students are expected to achieve a specific level of competency and demonstrate professional behavior. If they fail to do so, or receive an incomplete in their course, they will be referred to the Academic and Professionalism Review Committee (APRC). The APRC will review the student's file and determine if a remediation plan is necessary.

Remediation plans allow a student to retake the course, exam, or clinical during the summer between academic years. The hope is that they will gain the required level of competency and be able to rejoin their class in the fall to continue with the program as normal. Unfortunately, some students are unable to successfully complete their remediation plan. When this happens, they are referred for further review and, potentially, a dismissal hearing.

Dismissal Proceedings at University of Utah School of Dentistry

At UUSOD, students can be dismissed from the program for several reasons, including accumulating too many unexcused absences, behavioral misconduct, failing a drug test, or failing to maintain satisfactory grades. When a student is referred for dismissal, the APRC will meet with the student to determine if dismissal, or another sanction, is necessary. At this meeting, students will have an opportunity to present a defense to the potential punishments.

It is incredibly important to go into any proceeding with a strategic game plan. Some students try to improvise these meetings and end up with harsher punishments than necessary. An attorney-advisor will help you determine what evidence and witnesses should testify on your behalf, guaranteeing you the best possible outcome for your case.

After the APRC has heard your defense, they will review all the information presented and make their decision. You will receive the decision later, and it will include the instructions for an appeal. Appeals must be made to the Academic Appeals Committee within ten days of receiving this notice. The committee will review the appeal and determine if:

  1. The appeal raised a substantial issue of whether a particular fact presented at the hearing was true or not
  2. The Committee chair decides that a hearing is necessary to help resolve the issues
  3. The student was being dismissed from the program

If one of these factors is present, the Committee chair will allow an appeal to proceed. The appeals committee will determine if the original decision should be upheld, revoked, reviewed again, or modified in some way. Whatever their decision, it is final and cannot be appealed further.

How a Skilled Attorney-Advisor Can Help

When you apply to dental school, you are so focused on your future achievements that when you are accused of violating the code of conduct in some way, you might feel completely overwhelmed. Where do you turn? Who can you trust to help?

It is important to remember that you have options. You can reach out to an experienced attorney-advisor who will help you organize and implement a strong defense. Students who are found responsible for violating the code of conduct face can face harsh sanctions, such as suspension or dismissal, which can have long-lasting consequences. For instance, if you decide to apply to another program to further your dental education, you will have to explain why you received a suspension or dismissal sanction at the prior school. Punishments like this can make getting into the new program much more difficult.

Working with an attorney-advisor will provide you with the best chance of continuing your education and preventing any interferences with that goal. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and Lento Law Firm have spent years helping dental students in similar situations. They understand how nuanced these types of proceedings can be, so they will help you gather evidence and witnesses on your behalf to best advocate for yourself. Call 888-535-3686 today to schedule a consultation or visit us online.

Contact Us Today!

If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

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