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Promotion and Graduation

Each student is responsible for knowing all promotional and graduation requirements, and to adhere to all policies and deadlines of the School of Medicine.

Attendance

Participation in instructional activities reveals a student’s attitude toward his/her professional preparation. Course and clerkship directors determine which activities are mandatory and the consequences for non-attendance at required activities.

Assignments

Course and clerkship directors determine all required assignments, and any make-up assignments if necessary. It is expected that all assignments be completed by the end of the course/clerkship, unless other arrangements have been made between the course/clerkship director and the student. Failure to complete any or all assignments by established deadlines could result in any of the following consequences:

  • Being excluded from participation in any scheduling process for the next academic year
  • Being prevented from registering for the next academic year
  • Cancellation of registration for the next academic year

Promotion to Year 2

In order to be promoted to Year 2 each Year 1 student must:

  • Achieve a satisfactory or honors grade for all prescribed courses.
  • Complete all required assignments.
  • Meet all attendance requirements and satisfactorily complete all make-up provisions.
  • Meet professional guidelines during interactions with patients, fellow students, faculty, staff, and Standardized Patients.

Students may be allowed an opportunity to remediate unsatisfactory coursework at the discretion of the Promotions Committee. Some students may be required to repeat failed courses, while others may be allowed to take a comparable re-examination at the end of the year. Courses that are remediated by re-examination will show a grade of S* (Satisfactory upon remediation). Courses that need to be repeated will list twice on the transcript. The initial grade will be Unsatisfactory and the second listing will be Satisfactory (assuming the course is successfully remediated). Students repeating courses are ineligible of a grade of Honors.

Students who complete all Year 1 requirements are promoted to Year 2 by approval of the Promotions Committee.

Promotion to Year 3

In order to be promoted to Year 3 each Year 2 student must:

  • Achieve a satisfactory or honors grade for all courses.
  • Complete all required assignments.
  • Meet all attendance requirements and satisfactorily complete all make-up provisions.
  • Act professionally toward patients, fellow students, faculty, standardized patients and staff.
  • Pass USMLE Step 1

Students may be allowed an opportunity to remediate unsatisfactory coursework at the discretion of the Promotions Committee. Some students may be required to repeat failed courses, while others may be allowed to take a comparable re-examination at the end of the year. Courses that are remediated by re-examination will show a grade of S* (Satisfactory upon remediation). Courses that need to be repeated will list twice on the transcript. The initial grade will be Unsatisfactory and the second listing will be Satisfactory (assuming the course is successfully remediated). Students repeating courses are ineligible of a grade of Honors.

Students who complete all Year 2 requirements are promoted to Year 3 by approval of the Promotions Committee, contingent upon passing USMLE Step 1. In certain situations, students may be required to post a passing score on the USMLE Step 1 examination prior to beginning Year 3 coursework.

All students are required to take the USMLE Step 1 exam prior to start of Year 3 orientation, which occurs toward the end of June. Students are provisionally registered as Year 3 students as they await the results of the Step 1 examination. Provisional Year 3 status is not a right, but a privilege, as some students may be required to post a passing score, not just take the examination, prior to beginning Year 3 coursework. For all students, full Year 3 status is dependent upon passing Step 1.

Students who have been away for more than a year from the completion of Year 2 (and the end of the Physical Diagnosis portion of Clinical Medicine 2) must take and pass a Clinical Readiness course prior to beginning Year 3 coursework.

Promotion to Year 4

In order to be promoted to Year 4, each Year 3 student must:

  • Achieve a satisfactory or honors grade for all prescribed clerkships.
  • Complete all required assignments.
  • Successfully complete the Year 3 OSCE examination and its remediation, if necessary.
  • Meet all attendance requirements and satisfactorily complete all make-up provisions.
  • Act professionally toward patients, fellow students, faculty, standardized patients and staff.

Students who complete all Year 3 requirements are promoted to Year 4 on the recommendation of the Clerkship Committee and by approval of the Promotions Committee.

It is important to note that students are not officially promoted to Senior (Year 4) status until all requirements of Year 3 are met. This includes remediation of any and all Year 3 clerkships and examinations, completing all assignments. This is an extremely important issue, since senior electives taken without clearing all Year 3 deficiencies means that those electives will not be credited toward graduation. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that this rule is followed and that all deficiencies and requirements are met.

Promotions Committee

Structure and Function

The medical school has the responsibility to assure that its graduates possess the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behavior patterns that will enable them to function satisfactorily as licensed physicians.The Promotions Committee is the WSUSOM’s decision-making body with regard to the promotions and graduation process and has the responsibility of determining the student’s fitness and suitability for the study and practice of medicine.The Promotions Committee makes decisions relative to the retention and promotion of students and determines whether a student is making Satisfactory Academic Progress for federal financial aid eligibility.It also has the responsibility of assuring that due process and the rules and policies of the Medical School are followed.

Promotions Committee

The Promotions Committee is chaired by the Vice Dean for Medical Education, or designee, and consists of eight voting faculty members, four who are nominated by the Faculty Senate and four who are nominated from the Council of Departmental Chairs.Faculty members serve three-year terms. Four students (including four alternates), one from each class, are selected by and from the student body.Student members serve for three years, have full privilege of discussion, but do not have formal voting rights.Additional administrative and counseling personnel participate in the discussion but do not have formal voting rights.

The Promotions Committee can be convened at any time to review a student whose academic or behavioral performance is inconsistent with the School’s academic and professional standards. A quorum of at least five voting members is required for a Promotions Committee meeting. Decisions will be based on a majority of the voting members present at the time of the vote. In the case of a tie vote, the Chair can exercise his/her option of either breaking the tie, reopening the case for further deliberation, or tabling the vote if further information is desired by the voting committee members.

The Promotions Committee meets to:

  • Certify the promotion of students who have met all of the promotional requirements of a given year (and are making Satisfactory Academic Progress to remain eligible for federal financial aid).
  • Determine those students whose overall performance merits awarding comprehensive year-end honors.
  • Determine the disposition of students who fail to meet the requirements for promotion (and are found NOT to be making Satisfactory Academic Progress).
  • Determine the disposition of students whose behavior is inconsistent with the School’s professional standards.

Potential Actions

The options available to the Promotions Committee for disposition of a particular student prior to promotion to the next academic year include, but are not limited to the following:

  • Require a student to successfully complete all non-examination deficiencies
  • Allow a student to take re-examination in a failed course(s)
  • Require a student to repeat selected failed courses or clerkships
  • Require a student to appear before the Promotions Committee for a hearing
  • Suspend a student and place him/her on an administrative leave of absence pending further investigation
  • Dismiss a student from medical school

Hearings

Students who face the possibility of dismissal will be invited to a hearing with the Promotions Committee to ensure that all relevant data is available when the Committee makes its decision.Students facing Administrative Academic Dismissals (described elsewhere) are not included in the Hearing process.Hearings are for other reasons where dismissal is a possibility.A student can bring a support person to a hearing.The student will be introduced to the voting members of the committee.Members of the Committee may ask questions of the student.The student is permitted to summarize his/her situation.Deliberations occur without the student being present.The Promotions Committee can decide to postpone action pending receipt of additional information.An official letter of the decision will be provided to the student.

In the process of making decisions regarding students, the following information will be provided:

  • Pre-entry data and medical school transcript information
  • Performance data from the current academic year
  • Information regarding any student issues which appear to have impaired academic or professional performance

Appealing Promotions Committee Decisions

Students have the right to appeal decisions of the Promotions Committee.In order to appeal a decision, a student must present a written statement to the Chair of the Promotions Committee within 10 business days from the time the decision has been communicated to the student.The appeal letter must clearly state the specific nature of the appeal.Appeals must contain new information not originally brought before the Committee in order for the appeal to be considered by the Chair of the Promotions Committee.The lack of new information in the appeal will result in the denial of the appeal by the Chair without taking the appeal to the full Committee.

If the appeal is denied, the student can appeal the decision to the Provost of the University by writing a letter to the Provost, and by providing a copy to the Dean of the Medical School.

Summer Re-Examinations and Repeating of Course Failures

Students who have completed the academic year with two course failures or less may be pre-approved by the Promotions Committee to take summer re-examinations. Students can elect to repeat a failed course rather than taking a summer re-examination.

Students with three or more course failures in the academic year or within an academic level (e.g., a student who took M1 coursework over two years due to a partial year leave or due to participation in the Modified program), or who have any course failures prior to going out on a leave of absence, may be called before the Promotions Committee for a hearing regarding their academic performance and/or failure to make Satisfactory Academic Progress. The Promotions Committee will determine the status for these students, including their enrollment status in the MD program; whether or not they can take summer re-examinations; and/or whether they can repeat the course failures in the next academic year. Students who fail a repeated course are not allowed to re-examine in the repeated failed course and will be administratively dismissed.

Pathophysiology Unit Failure Limitation. Due to the nature of the Pathophysiology course, Year 2 students are pre-approved to take up to 4 examinations (as long as there are no more than two total course failures). For example, a student is pre-approved to take re-examinations if the only failure is Pathophysiology with 4 unit failures, or where the student has failed another course along with Pathophysiology with only 3 unit failures. Students who are required to repeat Pathophysiology must successfully repeat the entire course, not just the failed units. Additionally, starting in the 2015-2016 academic year, students must also pass all previously failed units upon repeat. Students not passing all previously failed units upon repeat will be dismissed from medical school (see “End of Course Grading” policy).

Notification of Summer Re-Examination Results

A student is notified by Student Affairs of the results of re-examinations only AFTER the individual student has completed all of his/her re-examinations.

Students Required to Repeat Coursework

Students who are allowed to repeat coursework are given one final chance to progress through the medical program of study. A summer re-examination at the end of the year (if the course is failed a second time) is no longer an option. Failed coursework must begin and be completed in the next academic year. Each course must be completed and passed in the order taken. A leave of absence will not generally be granted to delay or interrupt remediation.

A student will be dismissed if any of the following occurs:

  • Achieve a grade of Unsatisfactory for a repeated course
  • Fail to begin remediation as scheduled
  • Fail to complete remediation as scheduled

Graduation

In order to graduate from WSUSOM, each Year 4 student must:

  • Achieve a satisfactory or honors grade for all prescribed clerkships and electives.
  • Complete all required assignments.
  • Complete any OSCE remediation.
  • Meet all attendance requirements and satisfactorily complete all make-up provisions.
  • Act professionally toward patients, fellow students, faculty, standardized patients and staff.
  • Pass USMLE Step 1
  • Pass USMLE Step 2CK
  • Pass USMLE Step 2CS

Deadline for Graduation Requirements

May 1st of each year is the deadline for completion of all Year 4 requirements, including coursework and passing USMLE examinations. Students who have not passed USMLE Step 2CK or 2CS examinations by May 1st will not be allowed to participate in graduation activities, including commencement. Students who only owe course work after May 1 may be allowed to participate in graduation activities on a case by case basis, as determined by the Vice Dean for Medical Education or his/her designee. All graduation requirements must be met by May 31st in order to have a June diploma.

It is the student’s responsibility to know the requirements for completion of the senior program and the requirements for the awarding of the medical degree/graduation.

Graduating with Distinction

Students who earn comprehensive honors in Years 1, 2, and 3 will have the wording “With High Distinction” added to the diploma.

Students who earn comprehensive honors in Year 3, AND either Years 1 or 2, will have the wording “With Distinction” added to the diploma.

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