What Medical Students Need to Know When Appealing a Dismissal from Med School

Medical students who have been dismissed from medical school may feel this decision is not fair in some way. But before they decide to file a formal appeal, they must try all other routes first to resolve differences. They must seek the assistance of the Office of Student Affairs and only consider an appeal when they have explored all alternatives. An appeal to the med school dismissal alleges an error in the facts considered for making the decision.

The Appeal Process

To file an appeal against a med school dismissal, a student should produce evidence of mistakes beyond simply asserting the decision wasn’t fair. The appeal must be made by writing a letter to the Department Chair outlining the reasons the student does not agree to the dismissal. Once the Chair receives the letter, they will convene with a group of faculty to review the decision. The student may be interviewed before the group makes a determination. When a decision is made, the student will be informed of the outcome through a letter. 

A student can only make an appeal to the Dean of Med Schol or Academic Appeal Committee when their grade has an effect on their dismissal. For instance, a medical student can appeal a grade that leads to a requirement to repeat a course. 

How the Appeal Review Works

Throughout the appeal process, the medical student will get information on the appeal’s progress. If the appeal is associated with a recommendation for dismissal, the student should notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs of their intention to file an appeal. They need to do this in writing within a specific number of days of receipt of the decision notification. The Dean will review the appeal and take any of the following actions:

  • Accept the appeal. This happens when the Dean determines the appeal deals with a procedural error. The Dean will then initiate a mechanism for redress. 
  • Reject the appeal. This can occur when the Dean thinks the appeal does not have merit. 
  • Constitute an Appeal Committee. The committee will review the written record, let the student present their side of the story in person, and hear a student’s advocate. 

When the dismissal was decided based on academic performance, disciplinary action, or academic dishonesty allegations, no parties are allowed to have legal representation. But when the dismissal resulted from academic dishonesty or disciplinary action, the medical student can submit a written statement that an attorney is drafted.

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