Utah is a vast state with deserts and snowy peaks, epic hiking trails, and three medical schools. Their goal is to train physicians who can serve the people of Utah with excellent patient care and cutting-edge research. With such high expectations, it's no wonder some individuals find it hard to resist the stress, causing them to partake in certain acts they wouldn't normally do. The good news is, attorney advisors have the skill and understanding to help, whether you are under a disciplinary review and facing sanctions, struggling to keep up and looking to join a remediation program, or confronting a potential dismissal from the medical school altogether.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Utah Medical Students
When medical school starts, the administration delivers student handbooks to every medical student. This handbook outlines the medical school's mission and makes specific rules for how students are expected to behave while on campus or at their clinical clerkships. These rules usually cover both academic and professional expectations. For instance, at the University of Utah School of Medicine, the student handbook lays out the Honor Code, which asks the students to:
- Refrain from academic misconduct – cheating, plagiarism, and fabrication
- Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to diverse patient populations
- Hold themselves accountable and maintain effective time management
- Conduct themselves professionally in both demeanor and appearance
- Maintain satisfactory grades
If your medical school believes you have violated these rules in any way, they will refer you to a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee for review. Those committees will determine if you should be punished for the behavior, given extra support, or dismissed from the program.
Remediation at Utah Medical Schools
Medical school is literally about life and death. They are teaching students how to keep people alive or how to care for them as they are dying. As such, they routinely test their students on medical knowledge and professional responsibility. If a student is struggling in either area, they will be referred to a committee to determine if they qualify for remediation.
At the Rocky Vista University Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, students who are approved to remediate a course failure will work with the Director of the Preclinical Education, the Course Director, and the Office of Testing to develop a remediation plan and schedule. If the student is in their third or fourth year, they will instead be referred to the Dean of Clinical Education to develop the plan.
There are certain instances a school may fail to allow a student to join a remediation program and instead require them to attend a dismissal hearing. This is unfortunate because students do not all learn the same way; some may be stronger in their clinicals or professional behavior than in their classroom and test-taking skills. Struggling is struggling, and you deserve the chance to join the remediation program if your school has one. If you believe your medical school has dropped the ball on providing you with help, an attorney advisor will be able to reach out on your behalf and begin the conversation.
Dismissal From a Utah Medical Program
During the semester, students are reviewed periodically, and if a faculty member or clinical instructor sees that one is misbehaving continuously or unable to make satisfactory grades, they will refer the student to the dismissal committee. At Noorda College of Osteopathic Medicine, students may be recommended for dismissal if they violate academic integrity by cheating or plagiarizing, fail to maintain patient confidentiality, or fail their COMLEX-USA exams more than a few times.
If you are referred to the dismissal committee at your school, you are allowed to defend yourself. A good defense includes a strategy for using witness testimony and relevant evidence. These proceedings really need to be taken seriously. Many students do not prepare, hoping to wing it when they get there and are inevitably dismissed from the program because of their insufficient defense.
Additionally, being dismissed early from your medical school can have disastrous consequences in other areas of your life. For instance, you might face serious financial hardship after taking out loans to pay for medical school and not having a high salary to pay them back. Further, your mental health may suffer. You've always known what you wanted to be when you grew up, and to watch it be taken away will be difficult. What career do you pick next? Where do you go now? Working with an attorney advisor is the only way to ensure you can fight your best fight.
There are certain rights medical schools owe their students, which usually include:
- Being able to face your accuser in a disciplinary hearing
- The right to defend yourself and be heard in all hearings
- Asking for grade changes
- Requesting to join a remediation program if you are struggling
- Being able to appeal the hearing committee's decisions
At the end of your hearing, the committee overseeing it deliberate in private and send a notice with their decision in it. This notice is usually mailed, but some medical schools might email it. In the notice, it will explain to you their decision and how they came to it, but it will also list steps for you to appeal. The steps should include where to send the appeal, what grounds the appeal can be made on, and what date to submit it by. Remember, if you are being suspended or dismissed, the appeal is your last chance to protect your dream of becoming a doctor in Utah. But if filing the appeal is overwhelming, an attorney-advisor can help.
Additionally, if your appeal is denied, an attorney advisor will be able to walk you through how to proceed with your case. They may contact the Office of General Counsel at your medical school to negotiate on your behalf. Generally, these negotiations offer better results than a traditional lawsuit might.
Utah Medical Student Defense Advisor
Being called before any type of committee at your medical school is understandably intimidating. Who can you turn to for help? What steps can you take to protect your future? Attorney advisors have the expertise and insight to defend you properly. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have dedicated their professional careers helping students in similar situations. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.