Medical students in Washington face a clear objective: Attend class, earn passing grades, and abide by the student code of conduct. Do these things, and you'll progress up the ladder towards a fulfilling career as a medical professional. The problem is, this progression is more easily envisioned than completed.
Medical school is hard—really hard. Mastering a medical school curriculum is challenging enough. You must also manage stress, support yourself financially, and manage your day-to-day responsibilities. With all this, you must also remain within the lines of your school's student conduct policies.
It's no wonder that medical school issues are as common as they are. If you or a child are facing a medical school issue, then help is here. An attorney-advisor can help you with professionalism concerns or allegations of wrongdoing, academic challenges and remediation issues, or any other medical school-related concern.
Your advisor will investigate your case, form a defense, accompany you through meetings and hearings, and protect your rights. If necessary, they'll appeal a ruling against you and take further steps as needed.
Academic and Professionalism Standards for Medical Students in Washington
Academic and professionalism standards are, with some exceptions, largely similar from one medical program to the next. It remains important to know the fine print of your school's conduct policies.
As a general rule, medical schools in Washington prohibit:
- Academic misconduct: This includes plagiarism, fabricating data, unauthorized collaboration with other students, unauthorized use of electronics, and other forms of academic misconduct.
- Criminal behavior: An arrest may be enough to trigger your dismissal, though each school may have a specific policy towards alleged criminal acts.
- Disrespectful behavior: One or repeated instances of disrespect towards faculty, fellow students, or patients may result in sanctions from your school.
- Misuse of drugs or alcohol: Abuse of alcohol, illicit drug use, and other substance-related issues are likely against your school's rules.
- Unprofessional behavior: The term “unprofessional behavior” casts a wide net. Your medical program may have broad discretion over what is and what isn't professional conduct. It also has the power to punish you for any behavior it deems unprofessional.
Alleged infractions of any kind warrant a strong defense. Even if your school considers your alleged offense to be minor, a finding of responsibility could tarnish your record. This may present challenges as your progress to residency, accreditation boards, and job interviews.
Dismissal From a Washington Medical School
The most serious medical school issues are those that result in a dismissal. Medical programs will generally dismiss students who have repeated academic problems or who commit a serious rules violation. Though a medical program may allow you to re-apply after dismissal, this isn't generally the case.
A dismissal will likely mark the end of your time at your current medical school. Beyond that, expulsion may:
- Cause feelings of guilt, shame, and failure: Whether fair or not, dismissal may cause many negative emotions that have a ripple effect throughout your life.
- Wipe out your academic progress: Starting at a new medical school or non-medical program generally means starting from scratch.
- Cause more burdensome student debt: Median student debt for medical students is between $119,000 and more than $150,000, depending on whether your program is private or public. Should you fail to get your degree, the specter of this debt will loom large.
- End your plans of practicing medicine: If you can't re-enroll in medical school or choose not to, then dismissal may mark the end of your dreams in medicine.
An attorney-advisor's goal is to help you avoid these problems. If you have attorney-advisor Joseph D. Lento and his expert team lead your defense, they will work to help you overcome the challenges a school may try to impose. This may entail working to reduce your pending sanctions or to have a dismissal reversed.
Your school has a protocol for handling cases of possible dismissal. Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm will research those protocols and prepare as necessary. If permitted, they'll accompany you to meetings and throughout the process. If a hearing is convened, Attorney Lento will prepare a hearing strategy, and at the time of the hearing, will effectively question witnesses and present a comprehensive defense.
Remediation for Washington Medical Students
Academic hardship is common for medical students. If you struggle to the point of failure, though, you may have serious decisions to make. Your medical program may recommend—or order—that you retake blocks of coursework. This is called remediation.
Remediating an assignment, course, or entire semester may be your best option. It may be your only option. It's possible, though, that you have other choices. We may petition your school to change your grade, for example.
While it can spare you from suspension or dismissal, remediation costs money. It may also prolong your graduation date. You also have a fixed number of remediation attempts and should use them sparingly. We'll review your circumstances and discuss the merits of each path forward.
Appealing a Decision by Washington Medical Programs
Appeals are a foundational element of due process. When you receive a decision that you disagree with, you file an appeal. When your reputation, academic record, and possibly your future in medicine are on the line, you need a thorough, prompt appeal.
The Lento Law Firm will work quickly to leverage your school's appeal process. Even if we never have to file an appeal, we'll be ready. We know that each school follows unique appeal protocols. At the University of Washington School of Medicine, you have 21 days to request an Administrative Review (appeal) of your case. At Washington State University’s Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, you only have seven days to file an appeal.
Our Firm may also negotiate with your school's Office of the General Counsel (OGC). This office may have the power to settle your case in a way that preserves your future at your current school.
Hire a Skilled Medical Student Defense Advisor for a Washington Medical School Issue
Attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm treats medical school issues with extreme care. Thanks to our unparalleled national experience in student defense, we know how hard medical students like you work. Our expert team will work just as hard to defend your future and academic and professional career.
Don't shoulder the weight of a medical school issue alone. Let our experienced, compassionate team lead your defense.
Whether you're facing an alleged code of conduct violation, a remediation-related decision, or another medical school issue, we can help. Call us today at 888-535-3686 to discuss your case or contact us online.