Seated at the heart of the nation in Washington D.C. are three medical schools: George Washington University School of Medicine, Howard University College of Medicine, and Georgetown University School of Medicine. As such prestigious medical schools, they believe their graduates should be well-trained, compassionate health care providers who can take part in decisions impacting the future of health care in America. But some students might find it hard to live up to these expectations, encouraging them to behave in ways they normally never would. If you feel like you are in a similar situation, an attorney advisor will be able to help.
Academic and Professionalism Policies for D.C. Medical Students
There are several academic and professional policies medical students must abide by while in school. Usually, these rules are delivered in the form of a Code of Conduct or Student Handbook at the beginning of the year. If your school is like GW School of Medicine, the code of conduct will ask you to:
- Preserve patient confidentiality as it relates to HIPAA
- Respond to patient care needs or staff requests when on their rotations
- Refrain from inappropriate behavior like name-calling, bullying, sexual harassment, or making threats of violence
- Uphold the integrity of the university – i.e., no cheating or fabricating data for research or clinical activities
If a student violates these rules, a faculty member will recommend them for disciplinary action or dismissal from the program altogether. The committees that oversee disciplinary issues and dismissals will review the information and determine if the student should be punished. Punishments tend to involve anything from a warning letter to suspension or expulsion and will usually relate to the extremeness of the behavior involved.
Remediation at Washington D.C. Medical Schools
The medical schools in D.C. expect their students to excel in their studies so they can help foster better health care in America. To ensure their students are ready to treat patients, they tend to routinely test them on both their medical understanding and their professional abilities. Students must be able to identify the correct remedy for treating a seizure and have an empathetic bedside manner with their patients.
In some cases, students are unable to keep up with the demanding coursework and exams. Not because they are incapable of learning the material, but because their learning style is different from how the faculty prefers to teach. Medical schools understand this and allow struggling students to remediate courses, exams, and clinicals.
For instance, at Howard University College of Medicine, the faculty will make “Early Warning” incident reports to students who behave unprofessionally. These reports are meant to put the student on notice that the faculty is concerned about their behavior. It also provides the student with an opportunity to discuss potential remediation. If the faculty member believes it to be a viable option, they will work to create a remediation plan for the student.
In general, students who are given remediation plans must complete them with satisfactory grades before they can be promoted to the next year of medical school. If they don't, then the faculty member overseeing the program may refer them to a dismissal committee for review.
Dismissal From a Washington D.C. Medical Program
As we explained above, medical students are tested regularly to confirm they understand what they are learning. After every assessment, the faculty reviews how well they are handling the information. If they see that a student is still struggling after being allowed to remediate, or if they see a student has violated their academic honor code, the student will be recommended for dismissal from the program.
And in some cases, students may be referred right to the dismissal process without the chance to remediate, like at Georgetown University School of Medicine. This is why it is so important to prepare a defense the moment you are notified of these hearings. If you are insufficiently defended, you face more penalties than just being dismissed.
For instance, dismissed students may find it hard to get admitted to other medical schools to finish their education. Medical schools are incredibly competitive with one another. When the new medical school learns of the reason you were dismissed from your original school, they may shut their doors to you. Additionally, whether or not you get into another medical school or become a doctor, you still have to pay back the student loans you've already taken out.
Being dismissed from medical school has more personal and financial hardships than most students think of in the moment. Working with an attorney advisor is the best way to ensure you are adequately prepared to defend yourself. Attorney advisors will gather evidence and witness testimony and create a strategic defense to persuade the administration to give you a second chance.
Most medical schools in America offer their students certain rights, like facing their accuser in a disciplinary hearing, being able to defend themselves, asking to join remediation programs, and being able to appeal the decision of any committee. This is true at all D.C. area medical schools as well.
When the hearing committee finishes deliberating, they will send their decision over to you. This decision will also lay out the steps for appealing it. And remember, if you are facing a suspension or dismissal, you want to appeal it. Suspension and dismissal sanctions will live on your transcripts forever. If you try to apply to other schools to continue your medical education, you will have to explain their presence over and over.
Filing an appeal is supposed to be a simple process, but many students get overwhelmed with the idea of doing it incorrectly and choose not to do it at all. Or wait too long to file and miss the deadline.
If you find the idea of filing the appeal on your own to be paralyzing, an attorney advisor can walk you through it. Also, if your appeal is denied, your attorney advisor will be able to walk you through an alternative resolution path. For instance, they may contact the Office of General Counsel at your medical school to negotiate on your behalf. Most of the time, these negotiations tend to work better than if you were to file a lawsuit against the medical school. Whatever happens, your attorney advisor will not stop until they have exhausted every avenue.
Washington D.C. Medical Student Defense Advisor
Being brought before a disciplinary, remediation, or dismissal committee for review can be anxiety-ridden. You may not know how to defend yourself properly. Attorney Joseph D. Lento is an expert in medical school defense. He and his team have the expertise to protect your dreams of becoming a doctor in D.C. Call the Lento Law Firm today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or schedule a time online.