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Academic Policies and Guidelines

 

See below for:

POLICY AND GUIDELINES FOR EVALUATION
AND PROMOTION OF MEDICAL STUDENTS

POLICY FOR EVALUATION AND PROMOTION OF MEDICAL STUDENTS

The primary responsibility for the evaluation and promotion of students rests with the academic departments of the Medical School. The faculty has an obligation to the students, to the school, and to society to evaluate students and promote and graduate only those who have demonstrated their suitability for the practice of medicine both in cognitive and in noncognitive areas such as clinical ability, interpersonal relations, and personal conduct and professional characteristics. This obligation continues from matriculation to graduation. The evaluation of performance in noncognitive areas is particularly important in the clinical years. A student whose performance in noncognitive areas is deemed by the faculty to be unacceptable, even if grades on tests and other evaluations are satisfactory, will be subject to dismissal.

The Dean and the faculty reserve the right to dismiss any student who, in their best judgment, is not qualified to continue the study of medicine.

The grading system used by the medical school includes the following:

HONORS

HIGH PASS

PASS

MARGINAL PERFORMANCE

FAIL

MARGINAL PERFORMANCE and FAIL grades will remain on the transcript; the grade earned on remediation or repetition of the course will also be listed.

The faculty of the Medical School has the responsibility for identifying students who are in academic difficulty and determining whether the deficiency can be remediated or the student should be dismissed. This responsibility is administered through the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee (SEPC) as the representative body of the faculty-at-large. Grades and other information relative to a student's academic performance are transmitted to the SEPC which reviews the cumulative record of the student and, based upon an overall consideration of the student's grades, demonstrated knowledge, clinical performance and suitability to practice medicine, decides whether a student should be promoted, continued with remedial work assigned, or dismissed. Any student whose record indicates that he/she is not qualified to continue the study of medicine will be dismissed. The SEPC may dismiss a student after a review of his/her complete record, if the student's performance in noncognitive areas such as clinical ability, interpersonal relations, personal and professional characteristics makes him/her unsuitable for the practice of medicine. The SEPC shall also determine when it is appropriate for a student who has been required to do remedial work to progress to the next level.

Any student who accumulates a total of four (4) FAIL grades or six (6) MARGINAL PERFORMANCE grades during the course of his/her medical education (regardless of whether remediated) fulfills the criteria for dismissal. Any student who receives a Fail grade in a course because of his/her performance in the treatment and care of patients may be dismissed.

Each student is responsible for notice of and compliance with these standards and all other provisions of The University of Texas System and UTHSC-H. A student who engages in conduct that calls into question his/her suitability to practice or study medicine or whose performance is otherwise unsatisfactory is subject to assessment and action by the Medical School SEPC, up to and including dismissal, whether such conduct or performance takes place in the context of the Medical School program or any other educational program of the UTHSC-H.

The SEPC will notify a student in writing of any action taken pursuant to this policy. The student may appeal the action indicated by these guidelines according to procedures outlined on page 23. The appeals process allows for the consideration of mitigating circumstances.

Students must successfully complete all first and second year course work before proceeding to the third year. All third-year course work should be completed before students begin fourth-year courses.


ALTERNATE PATHWAY

An "Alternate Pathway" curriculum was implemented at the Medical School in the fall of 1991 for those medical students with special backgrounds or considerations. This Pathway was established to allow students to decelerate the pace of the basic science curriculum and in its current form allows them to take the first year of the curriculum over a two-year period.

A student may opt and be allowed, after academic advisement, to enter the Alternate Pathway immediately upon entering medical school or at any time during either semester of the first year before final exams begin.  .   Students considering the Alternate Pathway must talk to the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs.    

Guidelines for student promotion on this "Alternate Pathway" are identical to those for students following the "traditional pathway."

GUIDELINES

FOR USE WITH THE GRADING SYSTEM

(HONORS, HIGH PASS, PASS, MARGINAL PERFORMANCE, FAIL)

I (N). Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable performance for first-time entering students

I (R). Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable performance for students who have been required to repeat all or part of the first-year

II (N). Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable second-year performance for students who have not been required to repeat the first year

II (R). Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable second-year performance for students who have been required to repeat all or part of the first year

III. Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable third-year student performance

IV. Guidelines for the application of sanctions for unacceptable fourth-year student performance

I (N). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE FOR FIRST-TIME ENTERING STUDENTS

Students who earn "failing" or "marginal performance" grades will fall into one or more of these categories:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - The student who earns a "marginal performance" grade must perform additional work in that course. The appropriate course director will prepare a written statement outlining the additional work required which will be reviewed for suitability by the SEPC. Upon completion of appropriate remediation, students will be re-evaluated and given another grade which will be added to the MP grade and both grades will remain on the transcript. (Remedial work may prevent students from enrolling for some or all of the courses of the second-year curriculum.) If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken.

B. REPEAT COURSE - The student who earns a "fail" grade must repeat the course or an equivalent course, as determined by the course director and reviewed by the SEPC, and obtain a grade of pass or higher. A course other than the regular medical school course must be certified by the Chairman of the appropriate department as equivalent to the regular course. Criteria for passing the equivalent course shall be determined by the appropriate Chairman and transmitted to the student prior to the beginning of the course. Students who fail to achieve at least a pass in a course they have repeated or the equivalent course that has been substituted will receive a fail grade in the course AND will be dismissed.

C. REPEAT YEAR - Students will be required to repeat all the courses of the first year except those which the student has previously completed with a grade of "high pass" or "honors". A student who is required to repeat the year and fails to achieve a grade of "pass" in a course in which he/she previously received a grade of MP or F will be dismissed. (Academic difficulty of students repeating the first year is addressed under I(R).)

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category have met the criteria for dismissal.


CATEGORY OF ACTION
DESCRIBED IN 1(N)

NUMBER OF MARGINAL
PERFORMANCE GRADES

NUMBER OF FAILING
GRADES
A 1 OR 2 0
B 0 1
A & B 1 1
C

0 OR 1
2 OR 3
3 OR 4

2
1
0
D 0
2 OR MORE
4 OR MORE
5 OR MORE
3 OR MORE
2 OR MORE
1 OR MORE
0


I (N). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE FIRST-YEAR PERFORMANCE FOR FIRST-TIME ENTERING STUDENTS

First-Year Academic Difficulty
(for students who are not repeating first year)

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

MP5

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

0F5MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

1F5MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

2F5MP

3F

3F

3F1MP

3F2MP

3F3MP

3F4MP

3F5MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

C*

  

D*

*Refer to description of Category A-D in I(N).


"I (R). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT ALL OR PART OF THE FIRST YEAR

Students who earn "failing" or "marginal performance" grades will fall into one or more of these categories:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - The student who earns a "marginal performance" grade must perform additional work in that course. The appropriate course director will prepare a written statement outlining the additional work required which will be reviewed for suitability by the SEPC. Upon completion of appropriate remediation, students will be re-evaluated and given another grade, which will be added to the MP grade, and both grades will remain on the transcript. If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken. Remedial work may prevent the student from enrolling for some or all of the courses of the second-year curriculum.

B. REPEAT COURSE - The student who earns a "fail" grade must repeat the course or an equivalent course, as determined by the course director and reviewed by the SEPC, and obtain a grade of pass or higher. A course other than the regular medical school course must be certified by the Chairman of the appropriate department as equivalent to the regular course. Criteria for passing the equivalent course shall be determined by the appropriate Chairman and transmitted to the student prior to the beginning of the course. Students who fail to achieve at least a pass in a course they have repeated or the equivalent course that has been substituted have met the criteria for dismissal.

C. REPEAT YEAR - Repetition of the year under these circumstances is not an option.

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category will be dismissed from the School.

I (R). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT ALL OR PART OF THE FIRST YEAR.

 

Category of Action Described in 1(R)

Number Of Marginal
Performance Grades

Number Of Failing
Grades

A

1 or 2

0

B

0

1

A & B

1

1

D

0
3 or more

2 or more
0


First-Year Academic Difficulty
(for students who are repeating first year)

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

3F

3F

3F1MP

3F2MP

3F3MP

3F4MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

D*

*Refer to description of Category A-D in I(R).


II (N). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE SECOND-YEAR PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT THE FIRST YEAR.

Students who earn "failing" or "marginal performance" grades will fall into one or more of these categories:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - The student who earns a "marginal performance" grade must perform additional work in that course. The appropriate course director will prepare a written statement outlining the additional work required which will be reviewed for suitability by the SEPC. Upon completion of appropriate remediation, students will be re-evaluated and given another grade which will be added to the MP grade and both grades will remain on the transcript. If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken. Remedial work may prevent the student from enrolling for some or all of the courses of the third-year curriculum.

B. REPEAT COURSE - The student who earns a "fail" grade must repeat the course or an equivalent course, as determined by the course director and reviewed by the SEPC, and obtain a grade of pass or higher. A course other than the regular medical school course must be certified by the Chairman of the appropriate department as equivalent to the regular course. Criteria for passing the equivalent course shall be determined by the appropriate Chairman and transmitted to the student prior to the beginning of the course. Students who fail to achieve at least a pass in a course that has been substituted will be dismissed.

C. REPEAT YEAR - Students will be required to repeat all the courses of the second year except those which the student has previously completed with a grade of "high pass" or "honors". During repetition all courses must be completed with a grade no lower than "pass". Acquisition of a grade lower than "pass" in any course will result in dismissal. A student who is required to repeat the year and fails to achieve a grade of "pass" in a course he/she previously received a grade of MP or F has met the criteria for dismissal.

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category have met the criteria for dismissal.

II (N). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE SECOND-YEAR PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE NOT BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT THE FIRST YEAR.

Category Of Action
described in II(N)

Number Of Marginal
Performance Grades

Number Of Failing
Grades

A

1 or 2

0

B

0

1

A & B

1

1

C

2
3 or more

1
0

D

0 or any
3 or more

2 or more
1


Second-Year Academic Difficulty
(for students who have not had to repeat first year)

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

C*

  

D*

*Refer to decsription of Category A-D in II(N).


II (R). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE SECOND-YEAR PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT ALL OR PART OF THE FIRST YEAR.

Students who earn "failing" or "marginal performance" grades will fall into one or more of these categories:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - The student who earns a "marginal performance" grade must perform additional work in that course. The appropriate course director will prepare a written statement outlining the additional work required which will be reviewed for suitability by the SEPC. Upon completion of appropriate remediation, students will be re-evaluated and given another grade which will be added to the MP grade and both grades will remain on the transcript. If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken. Remedial work may prevent the student from enrolling for some or all of the courses of the third-year curriculum.

B. REPEAT COURSE - The student who earns a "fail" grade must repeat the course or an equivalent course, as determined by the course director and reviewed by the SEPC, and obtain a grade of pass or higher. A course other than the regular medical school course must be certified by the Chairman of the appropriate department as equivalent to the regular course. Criteria for passing the equivalent course shall be determined by the appropriate Chairman and transmitted to the student prior to the beginning of the course. Students who fail to achieve at least a pass in a course they have repeated or the equivalent course that has been substituted have met the criteria for dismissal.

C. REPEAT YEAR - Repetition of the year under these circumstances is not an option.

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category have met the criteria for dismissal.

II (R). GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE SECOND-YEAR PERFORMANCE FOR STUDENTS WHO HAVE BEEN REQUIRED TO REPEAT ALL OR PART OF THE FIRST YEAR.

Category Of Action
described in II(R)

Number Of Marginal
Performance Grades

Number Of Failing
Grades

A

1 or 2

0

B

0

1

A & B

1

1

D

0
3 or more

2 or more
0


Second-Year Academic Difficulty
(for students who have had to repeat first year)

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

D*

*Refer to decsription of Category A-D in II(R).


III. GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE THIRD-YEAR STUDENT PERFORMANCE.

Students who earn "failing" or "marginal performance" grades will fall into one or more of these categories:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - One month of remedial work will be required for each course in which a marginal performance grade was achieved with the exception of Family Medicine and Neurology, for which two weeks of remedial work will be required. The remedial work will be prescribed by the course director and approved by the SEPC. Remedial work for marginal performance grades cannot be used to fulfill fourth-year elective requirements. If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken.*

B. REPEAT COURSE - The clerkship in its entirety must be repeated. Repetition of courses cannot be used to fulfill fourth-year elective requirements and must be taken during the two-month vacation period. Repeated courses must be completed with a grade no lower than "pass". Acquisition of a grade lower than "pass" will result in dismissal. Repetition of three-month clerkships will prevent the student from graduating on schedule.*

A & B. REMEDIAL WORK/REPEAT COURSE - Repetition of a failed clerkship and remedial work for a marginal performance will prevent students from graduating on schedule. Students who are required to repeat two-month clerkships must do so during their vacation period to be able to graduate on schedule.*

C. REPEAT YEAR - Repetition of the year is not an option.

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category have met the criteria for dismissal.

* Students may not be enrolled in two courses simultaneously in the third or fourth year of the medical school curriculum.

III. GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE THIRD-YEAR STUDENT PERFORMANCE

Category Of Action
described in III

Number Of Marginal
Performance Grades

Number Of Failing
Grades

A

1 or 2

0

B

0

1

A & B

1

1

D

0 or any
2 or more
3 or more

2 or more
1
0


Academic Difficulty in Third Year

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

D*

*Refer to decsription of Category A-D in III.


IV. GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE FOURTH-YEAR STUDENT PERFORMANCE.

Students who earn FAIL or MARGINAL PERFORMANCE grades in fourth-year coursework will be required to meet with the Student Evaluation and Promotions Committee, which may recommend the following or another action after review of the student’s complete record:

A. REMEDIAL WORK - One month of remedial work will be required for each course in which a "marginal performance" grade was achieved. The remedial work will be prescribed by the course director and approved by the SEPC. Remedial work for marginal performance grades can NOT be used to fulfill fourth-year elective requirements. If the grade on re-evaluation is not at least a "pass" grade, a "fail" grade will be recorded and the action appropriate to the "fail" grade, as specified in the guidelines, will be taken.*

B. REPEAT COURSE - The course in its entirety must be repeated. Repetition of courses cannot be used to fulfill fourth-year elective requirements. Repeated courses must be completed with a grade no lower than "pass". Acquisition of a grade lower than "pass" will result in dismissal. Repetition of courses may prevent the student from graduating on schedule.*

A & B. REMEDIAL WORK/REPEAT COURSE - Students who are required to repeat and/or remediate courses must do so during their vacation period to be able to graduate on schedule.*

C. REPEAT YEAR - Repetition of the year is not an option.

D. DISMISSAL - Students in this category have met the criteria for dismissal.

* Students may not be enrolled in two courses simultaneously in the fourth year of medical school curriculum.

IV. GUIDELINES FOR THE APPLICATION OF SANCTIONS FOR UNACCEPTABLE FOURTH-YEAR STUDENT PERFORMANCE

Category Of Action
described in IV

Number Of Marginal
Performance Grades

Number Of Failing
Grades

A

2 or less

0

B

0

1

A & B

1

1

D

0 or any
2 or more
3 or more

2 or more
1
0


Academic Difficulty in Fourth Year

 

MP0

MP1

MP2

MP3

MP4

0F

0

0F1MP

0F2MP

0F3MP

0F4MP

1F

1F

1F1MP

1F2MP

1F3MP

1F4MP

2F

2F

2F1MP

2F2MP

2F3MP

2F4MP

 

  

A*

  

B*

  

A&B*

  

D*

*Refer to description of Category A-D in IV.


PROCEDURES

1. The Office of Student Affairs will inform students of course grades lower than "pass." *

2. When the SEPC takes action dismissing a student or requires a student to undertake remedial work, the student will be notified by the Office of Student Affairs at least five days in advance of the date of the SEPC meeting at which an APPEAL will be considered. *

3. A student may appeal to the SEPC for reconsideration within 5 days after the date of notification of action of the Committee. The APPEAL must consist of a written statement of any mitigating circumstances that the student contends may have affected his/her performance. In addition to the written statement, the student may elect to appear in person before the Committee when the APPEAL is considered.

4. The SEPC will again review the cumulative record (blue book) of the student, all relevant information, and the student's statement. After deliberation the SEPC will determine whether the guidelines should be upheld. Exceptions to the sanctions indicated by this policy will be made only under extraordinary circumstances upon the vote of a majority of the members of the SEPC.

5. After the SEPC reaches a decision on an APPEAL the affected student will be sent a written notice of the decision within 3 working days. *

6. Within 14 days after the decision of the SEPC on an appeal for reconsideration, the student may submit a request in writing to the Dean to review the decision of the Committee. The decision of the Dean will be final.

* IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF STUDENTS TO SUPPLY THE ASSOCIATE DEAN FOR STUDENT AFFAIRS WITH UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ABOUT WHERE THEY CAN BE REACHED BOTH DURING THE SCHOOL YEAR AND WHEN THEY ARE ON VACATION OR FOR OTHER REASONS ARE ABSENT FROM SCHOOL. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL NOT EXTEND THE TIME LIMITATIONS STATED ABOVE.