Within the academic review process, there are opportunities for the student to request a review meeting with the Student Progress Committee if he or she believes that all information was not taken into account in the Committee's deliberation process or if the student wishes to request a different course of action than recommended by the Committee.
The disciplinary review process follows University of Washington guidelines within the context of the School of Medicine’s review process. When an incident has been reported, the student is asked to meet with the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and the Student Affairs Dean. If neither are available to deal with the incident in a timely way, another appropriate administrative official is requested to participate in this review process. If after the facts are disclosed, there is evidence that the incident does not involve a breach of the standards of personal and professional conduct of a physician-in-training, the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs determines the appropriate resolution. If after the facts of the incidents are disclosed the student acknowledges guilt, the case is referred to the Student Progress Committee and is managed under the academic review process. If the student assumes an acceptable level of responsibility related to the issues of concern, but takes a different position on the incident presented, the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs presents both views to the Student Progress Committee for consideration. If the student does not acknowledge guilt, surrounding a serious issue with supporting documentation, the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs may initiate a disciplinary referral to the University of Washington Disciplinary Committee. Once a conclusion is reached based on the disciplinary review, the case is referred to the Student Progress Committee and is managed under the academic review process.
For issues related to remediation, reprimand, probation, leaves of absence, suspension, and expanded curricular programs, the student may request a review meeting with the Student Progress Committee to request reconsideration of the Committee's recommended remediation plan. The decision of the Student Progress Committee following such a review meeting is final, and the course of action will then be implemented. The Student Affairs Dean works with the student and the Curriculum Dean to schedule the plan directed by the Student Progress Committee.
For issues involving a recommendation for dismissal from medical school, the student is informed by the Student Progress Committee of the deficiencies on which the dismissal recommendation is based. In most cases, there has been at least one previous letter informing the student of deficiencies and the expected level of performance if the student is to continue in the School of Medicine. When the student is informed of a dismissal recommendation, he or she has two main options. One is to submit a letter of withdrawal from medical school to the Student Affairs Dean. The second is to request a dismissal review meeting with the Student Progress Committee. This meeting should occur as soon as possible but not later than the next routinely scheduled meeting unless a delay is approved by the Committee. The format of the dismissal review meeting has three components:
• During the first segment, the Committee members review the student's entire medical school record and any additional information requested by one of the deans or the Committee or submitted by the student about his or her performance or extenuating circumstances interfering with performance. In addition, the student may request to have individuals write letters of support for his/her continuance in medical school.
• The second segment of the meeting is the interview with the student. At this time, the student can make a presentation to provide the Committee with his or her perspective on his or her performance, and there is an opportunity for questions and answers between the student and the Committee members. In addition, the student is permitted to have present a member of the medical school faculty as an advocate, however, legal council is not permitted in the academic review process. The faculty advocate can present information to the Committee and/or participate as needed during the question and answer period. The level of participation of the medical faculty advocate is a decision the student makes in consultation with his or her advocate. Once all the information that the student wants to share with the Committee is presented and there are no more questions, the student and the medical faculty advocate are asked to leave the meeting room.
• During the third segment of the meeting, the Committee meets in executive session, i.e. without the student and advocate, present and makes a decision on the dismissal recommendation. The student is invited to wait in the Academic Affairs Office area so that he or she can be informed by the Chair of the Committee of the decision immediately. The Committee's decision is also sent to the student in writing.
It is important that the student understands that the academic review process is different from a disciplinary or courtroom scenario in which there are multiple levels of appeal. There are three components to the academic review process. These include the student being informed of the academic and/or professional standard deficiency, having an informal (i.e., an attorney is not permitted) meeting with the Student Progress Committee, and there being a careful and deliberate committee decision-making process. Thus, it is also important to understand that the review meeting with the Student Progress Committee is the only meeting at which the student has an opportunity to provide relevant information that he/she believes the Committee needs to know before making a final decision. When the student is in the dismissal review process, the Committee will determine the appropriateness of the student’s continuing in coursework.
If the Student Progress Committee sustains the recommendation for dismissal from medical school and the student does not withdraw from the School, the Committee's recommendation is forwarded to the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs for a review of process. This does not include a review of the student’s performance to reconfirm the Committee’s recommendation nor an interview with the student. If the Faculty Council determines that the School's process has been followed, the decisions of both the Student Progress Committee and the Faculty Council on Academic Affairs are forwarded to the Dean. While the student may request a meeting with the Dean, the granting of such a meeting is at the Dean’s discretion.
After reviewing the information on which the decisions were based, the Committee's and Council's recommendations, and, if granted, information from an interview with the student, the Dean will make the final decision and there is no further review within the School of Medicine. The student is informed by the Dean of the final decision in writing. During the academic review process, the student has the right to withdraw from the School at any time up to the point when the Dean makes the final decision. If in the future the student requests a recommendation letter from an administrative official of the School, the academic performance and dismissal recommendation may be included in the letter.
If the outcome of the dismissal review meeting is that the Student Progress Committee overturns its dismissal recommendation, the Committee will determine the academic plan that must be followed to allow the student to continue in school. The Committee will also specify criteria for the student’s subsequent performance in order for him/her to be considered to be making satisfactory progress