MUSC Bulletin | College of Medicine

College of Medicine | Student Progress Guidelines

The Student Progress Committee conducts standing meetings four times a year, as well as on an as needed basis.  During these meetings, the Progress Committee reviews the academic and professional progress of all students with regard to established progression standards.  Students in good academic standing are approved in aggregate for continuation of their studies at each meeting.  Students who do not meet required academic or professional standards or whose progress may be lagging as evidenced by academic and/or professional concerns are considered individually by the Progress Committee.  When appropriate, additional Progress Committee meetings are called to consider students who are not demonstrating appropriate academic or professional progress.   In all cases involving the possibility of an adverse action being recommended, the student will be invited to meet with the Progress committee, and no action will be recommended or taken until the student appears before the Progress Committee to discuss their particular circumstances.  In addition, the student is afforded specific appeal rights in all cases involving a recommended adverse action. The appeal process will be conducted by a separate committee, namely the Student Progress Appeals Committee.

A student might refuse to appear before the Progress Committee despite reasonable efforts to accommodate the student (e.g., multiple invitations, adequate notice). If a student does not report to the committee, a certified letter will be sent to the student to ensure that notification was received. If student does not appear after certified notification, the Progress Committee may proceed with the recommendation of adverse actions. Student appeal rights also apply to this circumstance.              

Reasons for Referral to Progress Committee 
The Progress Committee may require students to appear before the committee for any of the circumstances listed. 

Preclinical Years
Academic Performance of less than 70% in any theme at the end of each block and/or at the end of each semester
Failure to remediate a theme at the end of a semester
Failure to complete the CPX 2 and Board Preparation Course at the end of year 2
Failure to take Step 1 by August after the second academic year
Failure to successfully complete Step 1 after two (2) attempts or failure to complete second attempt within 6 months of first attempt

Clinical Years
Failure to successfully complete Step 2 CK after two (2) attempts or failure to complete second attempt within 6 months of the first attempt
Failure of any clinical course or rotation
Failure of any clerkship OSCE or written exam
Failure of CPX3 exam and/or failure to remediate CPX 3 exam

All Academic Years
Failure to maintain satisfactory academic progress in meeting the degree completion requirements
Failure to take the USMLE Step exams by the specified time
Failure to meet professional expectations or requirements
All granted leave of absences or academic withdrawals
Failure to adhere to academic or professionalism advice by Student Affairs if the student is having either academic or professionalism difficulty

Student Advocacy and Advisement
It is the role of the Office of Student Affairs to provide academic advisement to students from initial matriculation through successful graduation from medical school. Student Affairs monitors the academic and professional progress of all students. The Associate and Assistant Deans for Student Affairs meet regularly with the Associate Deans for Curriculum (Basic and Clinical Sciences) to proactively determine whether students are making adequate academic progress. All matters related to professionalism are reported to the Associate and/or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. With regard to the Student Progress Committee, the Associate and/or Assistant Dean meet with students prior to any appearance before the Student Progress Committee, Student Progress Appeals Committee, or Professionalism Subcommittee.  At such meetings, the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs explain the process to the student and assist the student in preparing for the meeting (the written statement and verbal presentation) One or both Student Affairs Deans attend all Progress Committee  meetings in an Ex officio capacity  to provide support and advocacy on behalf of the student.  The student is also permitted to bring additional support person(s) or advocate(s) (not legal counsel) to any appearance before the Progress Committee.

Student Appeal Process
In cases where the Progress Committee recommends an adverse action (e.g., repeating school year, academic or professionalism probation, leave of absence, school withdrawal, dismissal), the student has the right to appeal this decision.  Student appeals are heard by the separate Student Progress Appeals Committee.  This committee consists of 5 members appointed for 3 year terms by the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education (3 members constitutes a quorum).  To avoid a potential conflict of interest, none of the members from the Student Progress Committee may serve on the Student Progress Appeals Committee.  The Ex Officio members of the Student Progress committee include the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education, the Associate and Assistant Deans for Student Affairs, and the Associate Deans for Curriculum - Basic and Clinical Sciences.

While the student is offered the opportunity to appeal all recommended adverse actions, the student can also choose at any point to waive their right to appeal.  In addition, all appeals are completed in a timely manner with a target of no longer than 30 days following initial recommendation of an adverse action until the completion of all appeal procedures (sooner when possible).  All appeals must be requested in writing to the Office of Student Affairs no later than 10 business days following initial recommendation of an adverse action. Unsuccessful appeals before the Student Progress Appeals Committee may be appealed directly to the Dean.  All decisions rendered by the Dean are considered final. 

Appeal Process to the Dean of the College of Medicine
If the student appeals to the Dean, the Dean will request that the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs provide her with all the records related to the student from the admission process for medical school through current medical education status. The Dean reviews all records thoroughly, and may ask to meet with individuals with whom the student has worked during the course of study.  For instance, if the student received services from the CAE, the Dean may meet with the Director of CAE and/or the individuals from CAE who worked with the student. If the student has voluntarily signed a release for the Dean to talk to CAPS, she may meet individuals from CAPS who were involved with the student.  The Dean will meet with the Associate and/or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and the Associate Dean for Student Progress to discuss the situation and the processes which took place that led to the student’s recommendation for dismissal. After the aforementioned processes, the Dean then meets with the student.  Based on all information gathered, a thorough review of the information and various meetings, including the final meeting with the student, the Dean renders a decision.  The Dean advises the student in writing of the decision and copies the Associate Dean for Student Progress and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The decision of the Dean is final.    

Specific Circumstances

First Year

  1. A student who fails a theme or themes must remediate (if eligible) before the beginning of the next semester.
  2. If the student successfully remediates, then he/she must meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and is required to develop an academic enhancement plan.
  3. If the remediation is unsuccessful, the student is referred to the Student Progress Committee which may recommend repeating the first year and will be on probation until the successful completion of a semester or adverse action such as dismissal.

Second Year

  1. A student who fails a theme or themes in the fall semester must remediate (if eligible) before the beginning of the spring semester. If a student fails a theme or themes in the spring semester he/she must remediate (if eligible) before taking Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE).
  2. If the student successfully remediates the theme or themes, then he/she must meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and is required to develop an academic enhancement plan.
  3. If the remediation is unsuccessful, the student will be referred to the Student Progress Committee which may recommend repeating the second year and will be on probation until the successful completion of a semester or dismissal. 

National Board Examination, Step 1
All rising 3rd year students must sit for Step 1 of the United States Medical Licensing Exam (USMLE) before beginning their clinical rotations.  If a student does not pass Step 1 on his/her first attempt, he/she will be allowed to complete the rotation in progress and receive credit if he/she is successful, both clinically and on any examinations but then must take a leave from 3rd year rotations and is placed on Independent Study to prepare further for Step 1. The student can take this examination no more that four (4) times within a 12 month period (per USMLE regulations – see www.usmle.org/ for the full policy).  The student will be registered for an Independent Study Course until a passing score is achieved. The student is required to meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Students, and it is required that an academic enhancement plan is created.  If the student fails the examination more than one time, he/she will be placed on probation.  He/she will be registered for the Independent Study Course until a passing score is achieved .The student will then be on academic probation until he/she passes Step 1.  Once a passing score is received, the student will be eligible to begin his/her next scheduled rotation.  Students who do not pass Step 1 on their third attempt are eligible for dismissal.

Clinical Years
A student who receives a grade of IN for a clerkship will be required to meet with the College of Medicine Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs and will be advised to participate in an academic enhancement plan developed by the student with assistance from a Student Affairs Dean. The student must remediate all third-year course work prior to August 1st of the fourth year unless extenuating circumstances exist (e.g., personal illness.)

  1. A student who receives a failing grade for a clerkship will be required to repeat the course and will be placed on academic probation. Probationary status is removed once the failed clerkship is successfully repeated.  The student will be referred to the Progress Committee.
  2. Should a student receive a second IN before clearing the first, the student must immediately withdraw from course of study which he/she is presently taking and satisfactorily remove both IN grades before progressing.  Exams and other failed components must be taken at the first offering in such instances.
  3. A student who has not remediated all 3rd year core clerkship course work will not be allowed to register for the USMLE Step 2 examination or participate in away rotations.
  4. A student who receives a failing grade for a clinical core course in the 4th year (e.g., the Senior Medicine Rotation or the Externship) will be placed on academic probation and must remove this deficiency by repeating and passing a core course at the first available opportunity.  The student will be referred to the Progress Committee.
  5. A student who receives failing grades in two clinical core courses will be referred to the Student Progress Committee which may recommend dismissal even if the first failure has been removed by repeating the course.
  6. A student who fails a selective or elective will receive a grade of F on their academic transcript. The student will be referred to the Progress Committee. The student may be given the opportunity to repeat that selective/elective (at the discretion of the course director depending on the extent of the student’s deficits) or the student may be required to take a different selective/elective to demonstrate competency and ensure adequate remediation.

National Board Examination, Step 2 CK
Successful completion of Step 1 of the USMLE is required before a student can take Step 2 CK.  Successful completion of Step 2 CK is required for graduation.

Students must take Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) before December 31 of their fourth year.  This allows students to take the exam and, in the event that they do not pass, allows them enough time to take it again before graduation.  Failure to adhere to this policy will lead to a referral to the Professionalism Subcommittee and may result in temporary suspension of a student’s coursework, a student’s inability to graduate on time, and may result in the cancellation of his/her residency contract.  Students must take Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) prior to February 15th of their fourth year.  Failure to do so will result in a referral to the Professionalism Subcommittee. Students may take the Step 2 CK examination no more that 4 times in a 12 month period and may take Step 2 CS no more that 3 times in a 12 month period (per USMLE regulations).

Clinical Practice Exam in Year 3 (CPX3)
The Clinical Practice Exam consists of standardized patient encounters and corresponding writing stations and is given in July/August of a student’s fourth year.  This examination is graded on an honors/pass/fail basis and will be included on students’ transcripts. In the event that a student fails the CPX3, a mentor will be assigned to him/her in order to remediate the problems that caused failure on the exam and the student must retake the exam.  Students must successfully pass or remediate the CPX3 prior to taking the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam.  Successful completion of the CPX3 is required for degree completion.   Remediation of the CPX3 will be reported on the MPSE. The Student Progress Committee reviews students’ CPX 3 performance. Students who fail the CPX 3 exam or who fail to remediate successfully are referred to the Progress Committee.



 

 
Last Published with Edits:12/12/2013 2:15 PM
Last Comprehensive Review: Fall 2013

 

 
 
 

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