Vermont is the home of maple syrup, Ben and Jerry's ice cream, and the University of Vermont College of Medicine. UVM College of Medicine's goal is to prepare physicians who demonstrate incredibly patient-centered compassionate care. To provide patient-centered, compassionate care, their students must be well on their way to becoming medical experts who can not only treat patients effectively but also show empathy. These are high standards, and they expect their medical students to exceed them. But some students may find medical school challenging, forcing them to act in ways they normally wouldn't. If you find yourself going through something similar, an attorney advisor can help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for Vermont Medical Students
Your medical school should have handed out a student handbook on the first day of classes. This handbook holds all of the policies and procedures the school intends for its students to follow, including academic and professional behaviors. If your school is like UVM College of Medicine, then the rules you are expected to follow include:
- Upholding academic integrity – not cheating or helping someone else cheat
- Having compassion for patients and leaving behind discriminatory ideas
- Respect others, including patients, faculty, staff, and classmates
- Maintain satisfactory grades
The list above is not exhaustive, and violating any guideline in the student handbook could land you in front of a remediation committee or a disciplinary or dismissal hearing.
Remediation at Vermont Medical Schools
Medical school is very competitive to get admitted to. You assume that if you've done well in your undergrad and on the MCATs, you will do well in medical school. But the truth is, medical school is a beast of its own to contend with. You are learning how to care for real people with real problems who need your help. Because of this, medical schools are notorious for testing their students consistently on their medical knowledge and professional capabilities. For instance, students are given exams on certain subjects, required to take parts of a national licensing exam after the first and second year (and must pass to continue to the next year), and questioned about their appearance and empathy towards patients.
At UVM College of Medicine, if a student is seen struggling with either professional responsibility or their medical acumen, they will be referred to the Advancement Committee. This committee will review the student's file and determine if they are eligible for a remediation program. If they are, they will design a plan for the student to retake the course, exam, or clinical rotation they've been doing poorly in. The idea is to give the student every chance to succeed.
Sometimes though, a medical school moves right from finding out the student is struggling to a dismissal proceeding and never offers the remediation plan. If you think your medical school has failed to provide you with an adequate remediation plan, an attorney advisor can help you prepare a request for one.
Dismissal From a Vermont Medical Program
There are several reasons why a student would be dismissed from medical school. Most people think it's because of a behavioral issue, but the reality is medical school is hard, and some students are unable to keep up. As we explained above, medical schools want to help their students and have the means to do so, but sometimes the program is inappropriate or isn't offered at all. You could be brought before the dismissal committee because of poor grades, sexual harassment, disciplinary issues, or failing your Step 1 of the USMLE.
It's important to remember that if you are recommended for dismissal, for whatever reason, you have a right to attend the hearing and defend yourself. You will want to gather evidence and witnesses to speak on your behalf and organize it all in a way that shows the point you are trying to make. Unfortunately, most students fail to really prepare for these proceedings. They believe they can talk their way out of it, but those students are usually dismissed.
Insufficient defenses can have disastrous consequences. For instance, if you are dismissed and still wish to pursue a career in medicine, you might have to apply to lesser reputable schools. If you do get in, your credits might not transfer, forcing you to start from zero and take out even more school loans. If you are unable to get back into medical school and already have considerable school loans, you might find it hard to repay them without a physician's salary. Working with an attorney advisor who can create solid defense is the only way to guarantee the best possible outcome for your case.
You've probably heard of “due process rights” when it comes to the Constitution, but even medical schools owe them to their students. These rights usually include:
- Facing your accuser in a disciplinary hearing
- The right to defend yourself and be heard in all hearings
- Requesting grade changes or the chance to join a remediation program
- The opportunity to appeal the hearing committee's decisions
When your disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal hearing ends, the committee overseeing it will review the evidence and witnesses presented and the facts surrounding the case. They will determine whether or not to pursue sanctions, allow you to join a remediation program, or dismiss you from the school and then send you their decision in writing.
This notice also should also come with instructions on how to appeal the decision they made. It's important to make sure the instructions are clear. If you have questions, ask them. For students facing dismissal or suspension, this appeal is your last chance to continue with your dream of becoming a doctor in Vermont. And we know filing an appeal can be overwhelming, but an attorney advisor can walk you through it.
If your appeal is denied, there are other avenues to a resolution that your attorney advisor will inform you of. For instance, your attorney advisor can contact the Office of General Counsel at your medical school and negotiate on your behalf. These negotiations tend to favor a better result than a traditional lawsuit against the school might. To learn more, contact an attorney advisor today.
Vermont Medical Student Defense Advisor
Who can you turn to for help? What steps should you take next? These are just some of the questions that begin buzzing through your head when you are notified of a committee hearing at your medical school. These hearings are understandably daunting, but an attorney advisor can help. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and his team have spent their professional careers helping medical students in similar situations. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.