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MUSC Bulletin | College of Medicine

College of Medicine | Academic Enhancement, Probation, and Professionalism Concerns

As an agent of MUSC, the College of Medicine Dean's Office is dedicated to the success of all of its medical students.  We believe that explicitly defining that success, within our evaluation processes, aids students in attaining that success.  Academically speaking, there are four competency-based levels established for describing student performance:

Honors:  a performance that greatly exceeds expected level of competence

Passing:  a performance that demonstrates expected level of competence

Substandard:  a performance that falls just short of expected level of competence.  In the MUSC system, a student demonstrating substandard performance has the opportunity to perform remediation activities to demonstrate expected level of competence

Failing:  a performance that falls greatly below expected level of competence or a substandard performance that was unsuccessful during remediation activities.

Individual student performance is closely monitored by designated Dean's Office personnel and, in the situation where that performance does not achieve designated levels of competency, either academically or professionally, a system of increasing surveillance is instituted as described below.

Academic Enhancement Plans
An academic enhancement plan is established for those students who demonstrate academic difficulties that if left unchecked could lead to more substantial academic problems.  A student in the following situations will be required to meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs: 1) if a student demonstrates substandard performance with successful remediation in one or more themes in a given semester 2) if a student does not initially complete a clinical clerkship in its entirety (e.g. fails on OSCE or NBME exam on the first attempt or 3) if the student does not successfully pass Step 1 or Step 2 of the USMLE on the first attempt.  At that time, the student will be required to develop an Academic Enhancement Plan.  While not mandatory, the plans are designed to help prevent significant academic problems from developing.  These plans may help prevent difficulties from progressing to probation, and the student's proactive participation in these plans is viewed positively by the Progress Committee.

During time on an academic enhancement plan, it may be prudent to minimize outside extracurricular activities (including obligations with substantial time commitments) until the academic enhancement plan demonstrates success.

Academic Probation
Academic probation is established to identify those students who have had more significant academic problems.  A student will be placed on academic probation for one or more of the following reasons: 1) if a student demonstrates failing performance in one or more themes, 2) if the student receives a failing grade for a clerkship, selective, or elective or 3) if the student does not successfully pass Step 1 or Step 2 of the USMLE on the second attempt without demonstrable improvement during the probationary period, the student may be eligible for dismissal.  The student will be informed of the probationary status in writing.  In the pre-clinical years, probationary status is removed after a student has successfully passed all academic requirements in a semester without the need for remediation.  In the clinical years. probationary status is removed once the failed clerkship is successfully repeated or the USMLE Step examination is successfully passed.  Upon graduation with the M.D. degree, only information that is required to be disclosed with be shared with third parties.

Each student on academic probation is also required to meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to develop an Academic Monitoring Contract.  Adherence to the contract is mandatory for continuation in medical school.  Failure to do so may result in dismissal from medical school.  Students are required to play an active role in the development of the Academic Monitoring Contract.

While on probation a student must attend all required classes and activities unless precluded by a bona fide emergency or unless the absence is approved in advance by the course instructor or the Dean's Office.   A physician must document absence from a major exam due to illness.  Except for the fourth year, no electives are permitted while a student is on academic probation; during the fourth year, no away rotations may be taken by a student on probation.  During probation students may neither hold an elected office in student organizations nor represent the College at meetings.  The student may not participate in activities that would entail absences from required courses.

Any Probation or other adverse action will be disclosed on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) at the time of application for residency (as required).

Professionalism Concerns
A student will be placed on a mandated behavioral monitoring contract if the Professionalism Subcommittee of the Progress Committee or Associate Dean for Student Affairs deems that the student's professional behavior is unsatisfactory.  Without demonstrable improvement during the monitoring period, the student may be eligible for dismissal and can be placed on professionalism probation.  The student will be informed of the professionalism monitoring in writing and will also be notified of the removal of the probationary status in writing.  The length of the probationary period will be decided by the Professionalism Subcommittee in each individual case, taking into consideration the particular circumstances of that case in consultation with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.  Upon graduation with the M.D. degree, only information that is required to be disclosed will be shared with third parties.

Each student on professionalism probation is required to meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to develop a Behavioral Contract.  Adherence to the Behavioral Contract is mandatory for continuation in medical school.  Failure to do so may result in dismissal from medical school.  Students are required to play an active role in the development of the Behavioral Contract.

The Dean's Office recognizes that on occasion students may have problems with medical (including Psychiatric) problems that could affect their studies and in some cases lead to professionalism breaches.  Attempts will be made to first ensure the safety of the student and student body.  If the medical issues do lead to professionalism problems, several considerations will determine whether the student will be fit to return to school.  These considerations could include but are not limited to:  reports from treating physicians, interviews with Dean's Office staff, a fitness for duty evaluation, etc.  While all attempts will be made to ensure a student's return to school if possible, the Dean's Office also recognizes that even under the best circumstances some students may not become well enough to safely and professionally continue in medical school.

Any mandated professionalism monitoring or other adverse action will be disclosed on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) at the time of application for residency (as required).

All of the above monitoring plans are intended to increase the likelihood of a student's success and best ensure the academic and professional behavior becoming a physician.

  
Last Published with Edits:July 25, 2014 3:23 PM
Last Comprehensive Review: July 2014
 
 
 
 

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