Construction of the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine (VTCSOM) broke ground in 2010, and the charter class began its studies the same year. The school combines the resources of Virginia Tech University and Carilion Clinic to offer students an “educational experience grounded in inquiry, research, and discovery.”
The Carilion School faces the same responsibility as other esteemed medical programs: To graduate students who will be an asset to patients rather than a liability. This is a tall task and one that necessitates high academic and professional standards.
Students at VTCSOM must do everything possible to protect their professional future. If you find yourself at odds with VTCSOM's policies regarding academic performance, academic integrity, or professionalism, you can have attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento assist you.
VTCSOM Honor Code and Professional Standards
The Carilion School Honor Code notes that university leadership must “trust the academic honesty and integrity of the students” before entering the program. It is each student's responsibility to abide by the VTCSOM Honor Code, which requires students to:
- Refrain from cheating and plagiarism
- Refrain from using fictitious research data or findings
- Respect patient privacy
- Report any observed Honor Code violations
These standards primarily concern ethical behavior. Violating any pillar of the Carilion School Honor Code could put your graduation, and future medical career, in jeopardy.
VTCSOM’s Doctor of Medicine Honor Code outlines the university's procedures for alleged academic dishonesty. The VTCSOM Honor Board investigates and hears cases involving “potential academic infractions.” The Honor Board is composed of students and faculty and may significantly influence your future at VTCSOM and beyond.
Attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento understands the Honor Board's adjudication process. He may represent you during any direct interactions with this board.
VTC medical students can face sanctions for alleged unprofessional conduct. The Senior Dean for Student Affairs handles any alleged violation of Virginia Tech's listed “Attributes of Professionalism.” Any “member of the VTCSOM” community can file an allegation of ethical misconduct, and the Senior Dean has the power to launch a formal inquiry.
Remediation for Academic Underperformance
“Easy” is not an adjective often ascribed to medical school. Students at VTCSOM must surpass certain academic thresholds and milestones to graduate. Because its leadership understands the difficulty of completing medical school, VTCSOM offers a process for retaking failed courses.
Students who earn an Unsatisfactory (U) grade in a course (generally less than 75%) may be provided an academic remediation plan. The plan is tailored to each student's deficiencies. Remediation plans typically include an exam targeted at any areas where you've displayed a need for improvement.
VTCSOM literature describes the remediation process in great detail. If you or your child are facing possible remediation, know that:
- Remediation can be a vital stepping stone to graduation, but:
- Remediation may not be the best option for you, because:
- Remediation (and the original grade that prompted remediation) generally remains on your academic record
Alternative actions, including but not limited to an academic grievance, may allow you to avoid remediation. An attorney-advisor can create an action plan to seek the outcome that best protects you.
VTCSOM's Medical Student Promotion and Performance Committee (MSPPC) may recommend your dismissal over “academic and professionalism issues.” The MSPPC may request that you attend a dismissal hearing if:
- You fail two or more academic blocks (or other significant academic metrics) in the same academic year
- You are accused of unprofessional behavior or academic dishonesty
- You do not meet VTCSOM research requirements
- You fail to pass examinations necessary for academic promotion
- You fail to meet obligations related to remediation or probation
As a student, you have the right to legal counsel during a dismissal hearing. This hearing is critically important, as it may be challenging to rebound from dismissal from VTCSOM. A permanent, involuntary departure from VTCSOM may:
- Be a glaring blemish on your personal and academic record
- Prevent you from enrolling in another medical program
- Lead you to abandon your plans to practice medicine (voluntarily or involuntarily)
- Have lifelong personal consequences, including diminished income and feelings of failure
Dismissal isn't the only sanction you should be wary of. Any official indication of academic underperformance, dishonesty, or unprofessionalism could have tangible consequences.
VTCSOM's Appeals Process
Before you consider an appeal, understand the importance of effectively addressing your case before an appeal becomes necessary. Attorney Joseph D. Lento will seek a favorable decision before the word “appeal” even becomes relevant.
However, if you need to appeal an unfavorable decision, VTCSOM may allow you to do so. A VTCSOM Honor Code Appeals Procedures Flow Chart provides a general overview of how the Carilion School handles various types of appeals. The university will generally hear an appeal in light of:
- New evidence
- An unfair sanction
- Peculiarities in the original adjudication process
Attorney Joseph D. Lento may be able to initiate an appeal on alternative grounds. It is critical that you exhaust the appeals process. An appeal may be your final opportunity to avoid potentially irreparable sanctions.
Why Hire Attorney-Advisor Joseph D. Lento?
Leadership at Virginia Tech's Carilion School of Medicine may want the best for you—however, their foremost duty is to Virginia Tech University. As a medical student and as a hopeful medical professional, your future may be on the line. The very least you can do is hire an attorney-advisor whose sole loyalty lies with you.
Joseph D. Lento is that attorney-advisor. He and his team at the Lento Law Firm will immerse themselves in the VTCSOM adjudication process on your behalf. They will develop and execute a strategy that seeks to minimize harm to you.
When permitted, the Lento Law team will accompany you to all meetings and hearings. They have years of experience with medical school student issues across the United States. They're prepared to achieve the best possible outcome for your case. Call us today at (888) 535-3686 to speak about your case. You can also tell us about your case online here.