Virginia is a state rich with American history—and, it turns out, rich with medical programs. Aspiring doctors have several good options when attending medical school in Virginia. Should they obtain a degree from one of the medical programs in the Old Dominion State, graduates' next stops should be residency and then a long career in medicine.
First, you have to obtain a degree. Medical school graduation rates are high, generally hovering around 82% to 85%. Such statistics mean little when you're staring down a possible dismissal, though. Even if you're looking at a lesser consequence—like having to retake coursework or remediation—the negative ramifications could be significant.
Virginia played a crucial role in the formation of our democracy, and Virginia medical schools embrace democratic values like due process. You may need an attorney-advisor to ensure that you receive the due process you're promised. Experienced attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his expert team at the Lento Law Firm fight for medical students nationwide. They'll do the same for you.
Academic and Professionalism Standards for Medical Students in Virginia
When you enrolled in your medical program, you agreed to abide by certain rules. These standards of conduct are the train tracks towards graduation. Should you veer, the consequences can be great.
Each program maintains its own honor code and related code of conduct. Most schools hold up a single paragraph that encapsulates expected student behavior. In the case of Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine, for example, that paragraph reads as follows:
VCU recognizes that honesty, truth, and integrity are values central to its mission to advance knowledge and student success…Therefore, all members of the university community must conduct themselves in accordance with the highest standards of academic honesty, ethics, and integrity at all times.
Honesty, truth, integrity—these are values that your medical program likely expects of you, too. If your school alleges that you've breached these values, you may be facing the investigation and hearing processes. Actions that may violate your medical school's conduct guidelines include:
- Using drugs or alcohol in a prohibited manner
- Engaging in any type of academic misconduct
- Engaging in criminal behavior
- Showing blatant disregard for a faculty's wishes or rules
- Being disrespectful towards patients or fellow medical students
- Altering, fabricating, or misrepresenting data
- Failing to report another student's academic misconduct or unprofessionalism
Your attorney-advisor will identify which specific rule you're accused of violating. They will then craft your defense based on the facts of your case. They will also work with and leverage all mitigating information and documentation that will help provide the necessary support to your defense as needed.
Dismissal From Medical School in Virginia
Some students may believe that a medical school issue will just go away with a few words of contrition. This is usually naive. Medical schools are not undergraduate programs. They expect the best from their students and may not hesitate to issue serious sanctions.
The University of Virginia School of Medicine will dismiss students for academic shortcomings or serious professional misconduct. Your school may do the same. Other infractions, like an arrest or allegation of cheating, may also lead to your dismissal.
The severity of expulsion can't be overstated. A medical degree can bring you to the highest of professional highs and losing the chance at a degree can be life-changing. If you're fortunate, you may enroll in another medical program after dismissal—but there's no guarantee that another school will accept you.
The effects of dismissal from medical school may include:
- An abrupt end to your medical aspirations: If you're expelled and unable to enroll in another medical program, that will be the end of your medical aspirations.
- Re-enrollment in an inferior medical program with more student debt: If you're lucky, you'll re-enroll in another medical school. Realistically, you'll be enrolling in a less selective program and may face slim residency options upon graduation.
- Loss of your academic progress: If and when you re-enroll in medical school or a non-medical program, you may be restarting your studies.
The conclusion is clear: You want to fight a possible dismissal while you still have the time. Your attorney-advisor will determine how your school will adjudicate your case. Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine affords students a dismissal hearing, and your school may host an equivalent hearing. An attorney-advisor is an invaluable companion during any such hearing.
Remediation for Virginia Medical Students
Remediation may be an option if you've had academic issues. Medical programs generally allow you to retake a certain number of failed courses or assignments before you face dismissal. You may also complete remediation if you've missed too many classes or assignments.
There are pros and cons to remediation. On the positive side, remediation can spare you from possible dismissal, so long as you achieve a passing grade. However, repeating coursework takes extra time and money, which is why we may seek another course of action for you.
Appealing a Decision by a Medical Program in Virginia
We hope that we won't have to appeal any ruling by your medical school. If our initial defense is effective, then you'll receive a favorable decision. If we do need to appeal, though, we'll act quickly.
Appeals are highly technical and time-sensitive. At Eastern Virginia Medical School, for example, you may appeal on three specific grounds:
- Procedural errors
- New information or evidence
- Conflict of interest or bias
An appeal may be the last buffer between you and dismissal or other sanctions. Let a qualified attorney-advisor file a precise, timely appeal on your behalf.
Hire a Qualified Medical Student Defense Advisor for a Virginia Medical School Issue
An experienced attorney-advisor will exhaust every line of defense. They can help and guide during you during investigations, a progress committee hearing if one is convened, and an appeal if one is needed. In some instances, prior to a hearing, they will seek out the Office of General Counsel (OGC) at your medical school to negotiate. During these discussions, they will present the facts surrounding the issue and alternative paths for the OGC to consider before the school pursues hearings and potential adverse consequences. Typically, these discussions are extremely beneficial for the medical student and result in a lot less trauma. But, if they are unsuccessful, Attorney Lento will work tirelessly to ensure you are defended extensively during the hearing and appeals process. As necessary, steps can also be taken with the OGC later in the process in an effort to seek a reasonable resolution at the school level.
Over the course of many years, Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm have achieved unparalleled experience in helping to resolve medical school issues. From academic progression to misconduct cases to remediation issues and everything in between, we find solutions for medical students like you. We will advise you during every stage of your case.
Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your medical school issue in Virginia. You can also submit your case details online.