Student Ethics and Promotions Committee

Standards for Promotion

Students must complete (and pass) all courses successfully from one year before beginning the courses/rotations in the next year. Students must pass the Step 1 of the USMLE Exam prior to the start of the Advanced Clerkship & Elective phase of the curriculum. Students must take step 2 CK and CS by early fall of their fourth year. See Graduation Requirements.

The Student Ethics and Promotions Committee (SEPC)

The Student Ethics and Promotions Committee is the official faculty committee that reviews ethics violations and instances of unprofessional behavior as well as approves the advancement (promotion) of students from one academic year to the next. A student who receives an incomplete or failing grade in a course, or a low pass or failing grade in a rotation or who has otherwise not fulfilled TUSM’s graduation requirements will be brought before the SEPC where the student’s entire record is reviewed. In addition to academics, the Committee takes into account an assessment of characteristics considered desirable in a good physician, maintenance of the school’s integrity, and the well-being of patients under the student’s care. Issues regarding professionalism and conduct are brought before the SEPC for review.

SEPC has the right to temporarily remove a student from a course or rotation, or place a student on leave of absence, pending a required medical or psychiatric evaluation, if remaining in the course or rotation is felt to be detrimental to the student, classmates, faculty, or to the delivery of patient care. Such action may also be taken by the Dean for Students on a temporary basis until the committee can meet or until the situation is otherwise resolved. Students in academic difficulty may be suspended from participating in the academic program until a recommendation is made by the committee. The guidelines under which the committee functions are outlined below.

Any student who is reviewed by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee has the right to appear before and address the committee at the scheduled Committee meeting. Students may meet with the OSA Deans prior to the meeting for support and advice. Other individuals are not permitted to attend the meeting. A student may bring a support person (other than legal counsel) to a final dismissal hearing. This individual is there only for moral support and may not engage in any discussion during the meeting. Any student who is denied advancement by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee has the right to appeal this decision to Student Appeals Committee.

Coursework- Years 1 and 2

The TUSM Student Ethics and Promotions Committee reviews the academic performance of students in December and again at the end of the academic year. Only the Committee has the authority to determine the eligibility of a student to take a remedial examination or repeat coursework in its entirety in first or second year. The Committee also has the authority to stop the progress of a student. Finally the Committee may recommend a student for dismissal and follow through with a dismissal hearing.

A student may not take a remedial examination prior to the Committee meeting in April (for 2nd year students) or June (for 1st year students). All remedial examinations must be successfully passed in order for the student to be promoted and be eligible to begin the next academic year. Students with failing grade(s) will be reviewed by the SEPC as follows:

Annually in December:

•             Students in a combined degree program with 2 or more failures will be reviewed. At the discretion of the Committee, the student may be required to drop the combined degree and continue in the MD program only.

•             All students with three failures will be reviewed. At the discretion of the Committee, the student may be allowed to continue in the curriculum or may be required to take a leave of absence and repeat all courses that have been failed and repeat or     

              audit other courses as determined by the Committee.

•             Students with four failures will be reviewed with the recommendation that they be required to go on a leave of absence and repeat all courses that have been failed and repeat or audit other courses as determined by the committee.

•             Students with five or more failures will be reviewed by the Committee to be recommended for dismissal.

At the end of the Academic Year:

•             Students with one failure will be reviewed and required to successfully pass a remedial examination.

•             Students with two failures will be reviewed and required to successfully pass remedial examinations

•             Students in a combined degree program with 2 or more failures will be reviewed. At the discretion of the Committee, the student may be required to drop the combined degree and continue in the MD program only.

•             Students with three failures will be reviewed and required to, as determined by the committee:

                a.) Repeat all courses that have been failed and repeat or audit other courses as determined by the Committee.

                b.) At the discretion of the Committee and in extenuating circumstances, a student may be allowed to take and pass remedial examinations.

•             Students with four failures will be reviewed and required to repeat all courses that have been failed and either repeat or audit other courses as determined by the Committee.

•             Students with five failures or more failures will be reviewed be recommended for dismissal.

Additional Information

•             Students with three or more failures, who repeat courses in a subsequent academic year, will have a final grade of Fail recorded on their transcript in each failed course.

•             If a student has failed a course, and the TUSM SEPC has approved a remedial examination, the student may choose to repeat the course in its entirely rather than take the remedial exam. In this circumstance, the final grade for the initial course will   

               be an incomplete.

•             All remedial examinations must be successfully passed and results presented to the Committee by the stated deadline in order for the student to be promoted and be eligible to begin the next    academic year.

•             Failure of a remedial examination will result in full repetition of the course and denial of advancement and a final grade of Fail is recorded on the transcript.

•             Any failure of a repeated course will result in dismissal.

•             Committee actions that may result in denial of advancement or dismissal will be conducted according to due process guidelines (see Student Appeals Committee).

Coursework- Years 3 and 4

All Incomplete, Low Pass and Fail grades in a clerkship/elective as well as issues regarding professionalism and conduct are brought before the SEPC for review. At that time, the student’s entire academic record is reviewed. The committee takes into account maintenance of the school’s integrity and the well-being of patients under the student’s care. Any Low Pass or Failure grade in the clinical years may be grounds for dismissal. After review of the student’s academic record, the committee will make a decision which may include, but is not limited to, no action, additional clerkships, remedial work, repetition of a clerkship/elective, required leave of absence, suspension or dismissal. Committee actions that result in denial of advancement or dismissal, will be conducted according to due process guidelines (see Student Appeals Committee).

Student Appeals Committee

Charge

Has the responsibility for reviewing the appeals of students who by decree of the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee (SEPC) have been denied advancement or who have been dismissed from the Medical School.

Membership

The committee consists of three Senior Faculty members appointed by the Dean who are not currently members of the SEPC.

Procedure

A student who wishes to appeal a decision made by the Student Ethics and Promotions Committee may request such a review by the Student Appeals Committee. The request for this review must be submitted in writing by the student to the Chairperson of the SEPC within seven (7) calendar days of the student's official notification of the decision of the SEPC. The chairperson will in turn forward this request to the chairman of the Student Appeals Committee. The student shall have the right to appear in person before the Student Appeals Committee in order to present his/her case, and may be accompanied at the hearing by a faculty advisor and/or student friend. Legal counsel is not allowed to be present. The review mechanism should include participation of all persons deemed appropriate and necessary by the Student Appeals Committee, such as course directors, curriculum coordinators, etc. The student shall have the right to hear all testimony and to examine all evidence introduced as part of the review process.

The Student Appeals Committee can:

•             Sustain the decision of the SEPC, in which case the original decision of that Committee will be final. If the student wishes to appeal this decision further, he/she may request such a review by the Dean of the Medical School. Such a request must        

               be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students within seven (7) calendar days of the student's official notification of the most recent decision by the Student Appeals Committee.

•             Request reconsideration of the decision by the SEPC, which can sustain or modify its original decision.

•             If the SEPC subsequently sustains its original decision and the student wishes to appeal this decision further, he/she may request such a review by the Dean of the Medical School. Such a request must be submitted in writing to the Dean of Students    

              within seven (7) calendar days of the student's official notification of the most recent decision by the SEPC.

Suspension

The SEPC or the Dean for Students has the right to temporarily remove a student from a course or rotation when remaining could be detrimental to the student, classmates, the Tufts community or greater community or to the delivery of patient care. Students in academic difficulty may be suspended from participating in the academic program until a recommendation is made by the SEPC or the issue is otherwise resolved. All suspended students are placed on leave of absence until they are reviewed by the SEPC and a final decision regarding the status of the student has been determined.

Student Appeals Committee Process

Maximum Time for the M.D. Degree

The maximum time permitted for completion of the M.D. degree excluding approved leaves or other approved academic experiences is six academic years. 

The standard time frame for completion of requirements for the M.D. degree is four academic years. Due to academic or personal difficulties or approved academic enrichment activities, a student may require additional time.

To be making satisfactory academic progress, a student must complete the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum within a three academic years. Students must also complete the clinical phase of the curriculum within three academic years. The student can, therefore, be expected to receive the M.D. degree within a six-year period, excluding approved leaves of absence and/or participation in the Research Concentration Program or Active Citizenship Program.

Leave of Absence and Maximum Time for the M.D. Degree

A student may be granted a leave of absence, of not more than one year, for a variety of reasons. The approved period of leave is excluded from the maximum time frame in which a student must complete all degree requirements. However, a student will not be allowed to take more than 8 years (10 years for MD/PhD students) from the time of matriculation to complete the requirements for the M.D. degree, inclusive of leaves of absence.