Academic Affairs

Academic Affairs

Last updated: July 26th, 2022 at 04:29 pm

Academic Calendar

The academic calendar is posted on Canvas and the WAUSM website and students should familiarize themselves with the required activities for the medical educational program. Dates are subject to change; therefore, students must check the course syllabus and the university’s website for the latest academic schedule.

Students are expected to participate in ALL scheduled orientation activities, as well as required classes, exams, and other performance assessments, and required WAUSM activities, from the first through the last date in each semester that appears on the academic calendar, excluding breaks.

Units, courses and clerkships listed in the academic calendar are organized to begin and end on common dates in each year or semester and generally have a uniform weekly schedule. Course and clinical directors are required to adhere to approved WAUSM academic calendars when scheduling their units and courses. Examination dates and times are coordinated and timed to attempt to ensure a reasonable workload for students.

WAUSM is officially closed on a few national holidays, and during the period that includes Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. WAUSM is closed and does not hold classes on university holidays; however, during clerkships, semesters 6-10 students may be expected to work and take call on these days (depending on the patient care activities at their assigned clinical sites), or to attend other scheduled activities.

The WAUSM Curriculum

The WAUSM curriculum is organized by two phases: pre-clerkship (semester 1-5) and clerkship (semesters 6-10), and electives. In the pre-clerkship phase, each semester includes a Foundations of Medicine (FoM) course, which occur concurrent with a Patient Centered Care (PCC) course. The clerkships are organized as a series of six Clerkship courses and 27 weeks of elective clerkship. Student performance is assessed in each unit, course and clerkship. The Student Progress Committee (SPC) has defined standards for Satisfactory Academic Progress, which include the requirement that students must pass each course and clerkship, in the curriculum.

The syllabus for each course and clerkship, contains the course objectives, the WAUSM General Competencies and Educational Program Objectives, the schedule of activities, learning objectives for specific sessions or activities, names and contact information for the faculty involved, a listing of course materials, the student assessment system, and grading policies.

The competency-based grading process at WAUSM ensures that teaching, assessment, and remediation of all competencies are equally prioritized. All WAUSM courses and clerkships are mapped to the WAUSM Competencies and the AAMC Physician Competency Reference Set (PCRS). The grading system is in place to facilitate early identification of at-risk students and to provide a supportive formative remediation process to improve student performance without permanently marking their transcript or MSPE. Should students have unsatisfactory performance in courses or clerkships or have ongoing repeated concern in competency performance and/or failed remediation, they will be referred to the Student Progress Committee (SPC).

WAUSM General Compentencies

Medical Knowledge: Students will apply evidence-based medicine principles of biomedical, clinical, epidemiological, and social-behavioral sciences to guide diagnosis, treatment, and patient care decisions.

Patient Care: Students will use knowledge and skills during clinical encounters to gather necessary information and apply evidence to develop appropriate diagnostic and therapeutic plans that enhance health and treat disease.

System-Based Practice: Students will demonstrate an awareness of, and responsiveness to, the larger context and system of health care, utilizing other resources in the system to provide care for patients. Students will acknowledge the relationship between the patient, the community, and the health care system and the impact on health of culture, economics, the environment, health literacy, health policy, and advocacy to determine their role within these social and system dynamics.

Practice-Based Learning and Improvement: Students will be able to actively set and pursue clear learning goals and exploit new opportunities for intellectual growth and development. The student will demonstrate the ability to generate critical, reliable, valid self-assessment(s), and use this knowledge for self-regulation and to promote their development. Students will be able to recognize and thoroughly characterize a problem, develop an informed plan of action, act to resolve the problem, and subsequently assess the result(s) of their action.

Interpersonal Skills and Communication: Students will listen attentively and communicate clearly with patients, families, peers, faculty, and other members of the health care team, establishing rapport; fostering, forming, and maintaining therapeutic relationships with patients; effectively gathering and providing information during interactions with others and participating in collaborative patient-focused decision making.

Ethics and Professionalism: Students will carry out professional responsibilities with the highest standards of excellence and integrity, consistent with the Honor Code and with adherence to ethical principles. Students will value the humanity of all and demonstrate accountability to both patient and society by placing the patient first and advocating for improved access and just distribution of resources.

Interprofessional Collaboration: Students will demonstrate an awareness of and responsiveness to the larger context and system of health care, as well as the ability to call effectively on other resources in the system to provide optimal health care.

Personal and Professional Development and Wellness: Students will demonstrate the qualities required to sustain lifelong personal and professional growth and wellness.

Scholarly Inquiry: Students will apply knowledge of the scientific process to integrate and synthesize information, solve problems, and formulate research questions and hypotheses. Students will be facile in the language of the sciences and use it to participate in the discourse of science and explain how scientific knowledge is discovered and validated.

WAUSM Assessments

Narrative Assessments

In the majority of WAUSM courses and clerkships, a narrative description of student performance will be completed by faculty. Narrative comments will be provided to students for their review in a timely manner and will be a part of the student’s permanent file. Clerkship grading narratives are included verbatim in the MSPE/Dean’s Letter.

Examinations

Most written examinations are conducted as web-based objective examinations, using secure questions; examination questions will not be available for study before or after exams. Examinations are timed and proctored, and students take them using either software from Canvas for local formative and internal summative exams or on laptops/PCs with wired connections linked only to servers at the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) for Customized Assessment Service (CAS) final exams (and other exams).

Students have opportunities to raise concerns about exams or ask specific questions by contacting the course, unit, or clerkship director. The grade manager will notify students of exam results within 24-48 hours of score retrieval.

Course, unit, and clerkship directors are expected to use a variety of performance measures in addition to the secure, web-administered, objective exams. The performance measures and percentage contribution to the final grade in each unit, course, or clerkship is described in the syllabus.

To the degree possible, exams for concurrent courses will be scheduled so that exams do not compete with other learning activities.

Formative Assessments

Throughout the courses, and clerkships in all 10 semesters of medical school, students are provided with regular, formative feedback on their performance. This feedback takes the form of narrative feedback by faculty and peers and a range of other assessments, such as practice tests on course content. Course, and clerkship directors are expected to ensure structured formative feedback to students early enough to allow sufficient time for remediation.

The NBME Comprehensive Basic Science is administered during the end of the pre-clerkship curriculum (end of semester 5). It is a required exam and will be part of students’ 5th semester. Aside from formulating the semester 5 grade, the purpose of this exam is for students to self-assess their preparation and guide their study for the USMLE Step 1 exam.

Faculty Recusal from Academic Evaluation

Assessments in and promotions through the academic program of WAUSM are expected to be made fairly, impartially, and without bias.

A conflict of interest is present if the faculty member has or has had a treatment relationship with the student or has, or has had, a close personal or familial relationship with the student.

Examples of situations where the faculty would be considered to have, or have the future potential for, academic or professional influence include, but are not limited to:

a. Faculty supervisors and collaborators on a trainee’s research or scholarly project

b. Faculty teaching a course in which the trainee is enrolled, regardless of whether the faculty and trainee are in the same school, department, or program

c. Faculty serving as the student’s mentor

d. Faculty or staff who would normally be expected to provide regular formal evaluation of a trainee’s performance, such as an attending physician in a field closely related to the trainee’s

Students have the obligation to avoid small groups, preceptor assignments, clinical sites, as well as specific clerkships and elective rotations where evaluating faculty members have a close or personal relationship with the student.

Procedure for medical students with a prior or ongoing relationship with a faculty member or resident physician:

a. In the case that a medical student is assigned to work with a faculty member or resident physician with whom they have had a prior or ongoing professional care provider relationship or close personal relationship, either party must request that the student be granted an immediate change of assignment without fear of reprisal for this request.

b. The medical student should contact the SADSA, who will facilitate an immediate reassignment for the student.

c. The faculty member should contact the SADSA, who will alert the course, unit, or clerkship director immediately about the need to change the assignments and to ensure that the faculty member will have no influence on the assessment or determination of the grade of the medical student.

d. The resident physician should contact the SADSA, who will contact the residency program directly to inform them of the relationship.

e. The SADSA shall also alert the clerkship director immediately about the need to change the assignments to ensure that the resident will have no influence on the assessment or determination of the grade of the medical student.

Final schedules and assignments remain at the discretion of WAUSM.

As soon as a conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest is recognized, faculty members participating in the student assessment process shall recuse themselves from both assessment of the student in courses, units or clerkships and any discussion of and voting involving the student. In addition, Student Progress Committee (SPC) members must identify as early as possible any situation that could reasonably call into question the judgment of the member.

Faculty members shall bring any conflict to the attention of the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs (SADSA) as soon as they become aware of the situation.

Generally, a conflict is considered resolved when:

a. The faculty member recuses themselves from an assessment role or proceedings involving the student before the SPC, or

b. The faculty member is substituted with an impartial faculty member, or

c. The student is reassigning to an appropriate alternative experience. The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs will determine whether additional steps should be taken to manage the potential conflict.

WAUSM Grading System

The official WAUSM transcript is organized by academic year, listing all courses and clerkships in the academic year, with the credit hours for each course or rotation, followed by the final grade earned for each course or rotation. The transcript will also record that the student passed the University’s internal competency assessments and the USMLE licensing examinations.

MAPP

The final course grade for a student is determined by the percentages and designation indicated below. A number of methods of evaluation may be used to make this assessment, including but not limited to, written examinations, team-based activities, direct observation of students, written reports, oral presentations, and evaluations of professional conduct. Students should see the MAPP course syllabus for detailed information about grading. Student achievement of competencies results in either a Pass (P) or Fail (F) final grade.

Each student earning the following percentage scores on the overall course grade will receive the indicated designation, at minimum:

i. Pass (P): 70% – 100+%

ii. Fail (F): less than 70%

Semesters 1 – 5 (pre-clinical)

The final course grade for a student is determined by the percentages and designation indicated below. A number of methods of evaluation may be used to make this assessment, including but not limited to, written examinations, team-based activities, direct observation of students, written reports, oral presentations, Observed Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE) and evaluations of professional conduct. Students should see the course syllabus for detailed information about grading for an individual course. Student achievement of competencies results in either an Honors (H), High Pass (HP), Pass (P) or Fail (F) final grade.

Each student earning the following percentage scores on the overall course grade will receive the indicated designation, at minimum:

i. Honors (H): 90% – 100+%

ii. High Pass (HP): 80% – 89.9%

iii. Pass (P): 70% – 79.9%:

iv. Fail (F): Less than 70%

Semesters 6 – 10 (Clinical)

Student achievement of competencies is stratified, based on clinical performance and NBME Subject Examination performance, resulting in a final grade of Honors, High Pass, Pass, and Fail. 

i. Honors (H): The student has performed consistently in a manner judged as truly outstanding. The performance is worthy as a model.

ii. High Pass (HP): The student has performed consistently in a manner judged to be clearly above average competency. The performance may occasionally be exemplary but not consistently so.

iii. Pass (P): The student has performed consistently in a manner judged to be at or above the minimum level of competency. The performance may occasionally be superior, but not consistently so. No significant portion of the performance has been below the minimum level of competency.

iv. Fail (F): The student has performed in a manner judged as marginal in relation to the minimal level of competency. In some respects, performance may have been above the minimum level, but in other aspects, or at other times, performance has been below the minimum level. The student has not demonstrated adequate mastery of the pertinent competency. Remediation or repetition of coursework is required.

In Process (IP) and Fail (F) Grades

a. In Process (IP):

i. This temporary grade is used for students who have not completed all required components of a course or clerkship but can do so before the start of the next semester.

ii. In Process (IP) grades change to Fail (F) grades if the remediation is not completed in a satisfactory manner within the time limits prescribed by SPC.

b. Fail (F):

i. Students who receive a Failing (F) grade in a medical school course, clerkship, or rotation will be referred to the Student Progress Committee (SPC) for review of the student’s overall academic progress.

ii. All Fail (F) final grades will be listed on the student’s permanent transcript. The transcript will reflect both the initial grade of Fail (F) and the final remediated grade earned in the course or clerkship.

iii. Failure to complete the plan for remediation (i.e., work not completed or performed at an unsatisfactory level) will be reported to the SPC for action, which can include requiring the student to repeat the course/clerkship, repeat the semester or year, be placed on probation, suspension, or dismissal from WAUSM.

Withdrawals

a. The Student Progress Committee (SPC), under certain circumstances, may require a student to withdraw or may recommend that a student be dismissed from the program. In these cases, the SPC will determine the effective date of withdrawal and notify the student in writing.

b. A withdrawal will be recorded if a student takes an unauthorized leave or does not return from an approved leave of absence.

c. A withdrawal will also be recorded in cases where a student does not provide missing documentation within the first semester of being admitted, including but not limited to, official transcripts and test scores.

d. A withdrawal occurs when a student’s enrollment has been interrupted or discontinued throughout the course of the semester. Students are subject to a withdrawal based on the following:

i. A student electing to withdraw, or take a leave of absence, prior to the first exam will receive a grade of a “W” on his/her transcript.

ii. A student electing to withdraw, or take a leave of absence, after taking one or more examinations will receive a grade of a withdrawal passing (WP) or withdrawal fail (WF) based on their performance on the examination(s) taken on his/her transcript.

e. Students are subject to administrative withdrawal (WA) if they;

i.do not return to campus after the start of the semester during the designated check-in period

ii. fail to report to a clinical rotation on the first day of the rotation

iii. do not return from an approved leave of absence and/or take an unauthorized leave

iv. do not sit for the USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, or OET Medicine exams by the deadline provided by WAUSM

v. do not provide missing documentation, including but not limited to official transcripts, test scores, immunization records, etc. 

Note: Please see section XII of the Student Advancement, Promotion, and Graduation Standards Policy for more information on withdrawals.

Grade Appeal Policy

Students may appeal a grade or evaluation if there is a concern about a perceived grading error, or perceived procedural irregularities in the process that affected the grade. Students are encouraged to raise any concerns or complaints about a grade as soon as possible to the appropriate authority as indicated in this policy.

The purpose of the grade appeal process is to protect the rights of both the student who earns a grade and the Faculty who assign the grade. Faculty have the right to use their professional judgment, both subjectively and objectively, in determining a student’s grade based on academic performance. They also have the responsibility to award grades in a uniform manner based on established expectations and criteria for academic (including clinical) performance. Students have the right to appeal a grade that they feel has been awarded in an arbitrary and capricious manner. They also have the responsibility to accept the faculty member’s professional judgment about their performance.

Informal Resolution:

a. Before filing a formal appeal, students are encouraged to try all other routes to resolve differences. For example, speaking to individual faculty members, or the unit or course directors. Students should seek the counsel and help of the Office of Student Affairs and consider such an appeal only after all alternative routes have been explored.

b. Before the formal appeal process is initiated, any student who believes a final grade is inappropriate should confer with the course, clerkship, or elective director to request a reconsideration. This is considered an informal review of the grade. This discussion should be initiated within two (2) weeks of the posting of the grade. The student is entitled to an explanation of exactly how the final grade was determined and to view the results of component quizzes, examinations, and evaluations that contributed to the final grade, if available.

Appeal of a single examination or evaluation:

a. Students may appeal a single examination grade in the MAPP or pre-clerkship program within three (3) business days of the grade being posted if it is believed a grading error has occurred or there is another concern. Students should submit their concern in writing to the Course, Unit, or Program Director to arrange a meeting to discuss the concern/s.

b. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of meetings with the Course, Unit, or Program Director, the student may submit their concern in writing to the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). The Office of Student Affairs (OSA), or their designee, will consult with the appropriate faculty or leadership for review. The student will be notified of the decision within three (3) business days after deliberations and decision.

c. The decision of the OSA is final for single examination or evaluation appeals.

Appeal of a final course grade or evaluation:

a. Students may appeal a final grade or final evaluation within ten (10) business days of the final grade being posted if it is believed a grading error has occurred or there is another concern. Students should submit their concern in writing to the Office of Student Affairs (OSA).

b. The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) will review the written appeal and will consult with the appropriate faculty or leadership for review.

c. If the student is not satisfied with the outcome of the OSA, they may appeal in writing to the Executive Dean within ten (10) business days.

d. The Executive Dean will review the appeal and respond to the student within ten (10) business days of receiving the appeal.

e. The decision of the Executive Dean is final for final course grade or evaluation appeals.

If an appeal is not filed by the student in a timely manner, any ramifications related to transcript generation, determination of academic standing, and promotional considerations will be the responsibility of the student and may be irreversibly or negatively impacted.

The burden of proof rests with the student to demonstrate that the final grade was awarded inappropriately.

Falsification or fabrication of information to support an appeal is subject to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct.

Accommodations and Service Animal Registration Policy

WAUSM is committed to diversity and inclusion and celebrates the various learning needs, neurodiversity, and abilities of our students. As outlined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, students with documented disabilities may request accommodations as needed. Accommodations granted by WAUSM during pre-clerkship years do not guarantee accommodations for any other institutions and may not carry over to clerkship years. Accommodations granted by WAUSM do not guarantee accommodations for tests administered by the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME). Please see USMLE accommodations here: USMLE Accommodations. WAUSM students are responsible for being proactive in obtaining and supplying all relevant information requested for accommodations to the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Applications for accommodations requests are confidential and will only be accessed by those parties responsible for reviewing applications and implementing approved accommodations.

Requesting Accommodations

a. Complete the Accommodations Request Form available on the WAUSM Student Hub Canvas Course.

b. If applicable, upload previously approved accommodation documentation from past schools or other educational institutions, inclusive of the specific accommodations and dates they were provided.

c. Upload professional evaluations and/or appropriate records from a Qualified Professional (QP).

i. QP evaluations should be comprehensive, provide specific evidence of impairment and in most cases, have been completed in the past three years. Reports must be typewritten on official letterhead, dated, and signed by the QP. Certified English translations of non-English documentation are required.

ii. A comprehensive QP evaluation includes:

    1. Full name, credentials, current title, mailing address, e-mail address, and telephone number of QP conducting evaluation.
    2. The presenting problem and relevant historical information.
    3. A description of the onset, frequency, intensity, and duration of relevant symptoms as well as the extent to which the symptoms impact your daily functioning across multiple environments (e.g., social, academic, occupational, etc.).
    4. A description of the assessment procedure and diagnostic tests administered.
    5. A description of the individual’s functional limitations due to the disability in the context of an academic environment.
    6. Specific accommodations and/or assistive devices request along with rationale for requests.
    7. If applicable, a rationale as to why accommodations were not requested or required in the past.

d. WAUSM may request additional information before rendering an accommodation request decision. Students will receive an email outlining the outcome of the accommodation request. Relevant WAUSM faculty members and colleagues will be made aware of approved accommodations to ensure that they are implemented.

Registering a Service Animal

a. Complete the Service Animal Form located on the WAUSM Student Hub Canvas Course. Adapted from United States Medical Licensing Examination | Guidelines for Test Accommodations

Missed Examination Policy

Students are expected to complete all examinations on the dates and times noted on Canvas calendar. In rare cases, extenuating circumstances may prohibit a student from completing an examination on the original scheduled date and time. In these instances, students may request approval from the Office of Student Affairs (OSA) to sit for a missed examination and must be prepared to sit for a remediation exam within seven (7) calendar days of the original scheduled date.

Students who miss an examination due to extenuating circumstances need to provide documentation of those circumstances to the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). Documentation is preferred immediately but must be provided no later than five (5) calendar days from the original examination date to qualify for remediation. Students must be prepared to sit for a remediation exam within seven (7) calendar days from the original exam date. Following approval, the exact remediation exam date will be scheduled by the Unit or Course Director, and this date is final.

In cases where a student is either not approved for remediation or fails to appear for the remediation exam at the scheduled date and time, the student will receive a score of zero (0) for that missed examination.

Attendance

As future professionals, medical students should conduct themselves appropriately in all curricular activities, including classroom work, laboratory work, and clinical experiences. The professionalism of a medical student includes arriving to educational activities on time, using laptop computers only for coursework during the educational activity, and minimizing disruptions to the educational exercise.

Certain activities in medical school are experiential and require attendance. Students are personally responsible for attending all required educational activities as specified by the course, or clerkship director, which will generally include group interactive sessions such as clinical skills or other team based or active learning environments. Students should consult the course syllabus for specific attendance policies related to each course. Required attendance at teaching/classroom sessions varies with the course or clerkship. Specific attendance and punctuality requirements for courses and clerkships will be included in the syllabus or may be communicated by alternate written means, such as email or notice on unit, course, or clerkship websites.

Students are expected to attend required scheduled activities on time and ready to begin. If a semester 1-5 enrolled WAUSM student or MAPP student has an extenuating circumstance that prevents them from attending a scheduled activity, the student is expected to notify the Office of Student Affairs (please see Absence/Leave of Absence Policy). It is important that students realize that their absence or tardiness negatively impacts many other people. Attendance, including tardiness, is part of the evaluation for professionalism, and poor evaluations may result in decreased grades and, in severe cases, referral to SPC.

During semesters 6-10, time off is given at the discretion of the clerkship director and may or may not be granted. Students are allotted breaks as noted on the WAUSM academic calendar, but otherwise, students are expected to attend 100% of all clerkship activities. Semester 6-10 students on scheduled clerkships are NOT automatically off on official holidays listed on the academic calendar. Clerkship programs may permit students a holiday (e.g., If the outpatient clinic(s) is/are closed, and a clerkship director may give the students assigned there the day off).

Absence and Leave of Absence

Students must immediately notify the unit director and the OSA in the instance that academic experiences may be missed. An approved leave of absence (LOA) is defined as a temporary interruption in a student’s program of study for a period of greater than five (5) consecutive days. An approved leave of absence is limited to a temporary absence from the curricular program with reasonable expectations that the student will return from the leave of absence. A leave of absence requires pre-approval, and the student must follow university policies in the leave application process.

Students should be aware that their return and reintegration into the curriculum may require repeating or auditing of classes or rotations already taken. Students should also understand that, depending upon the length of the leave of absence, graduation may be delayed.

Students must complete and submit the Leave of Absence Approval Form to the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs (SADSA). Upon approval from the SADSA, all LOA requests must then be reviewed and approved by the Student Progress Committee (SPC).

In emergency situations, SPC, in the exercise of reasonable judgment, may bypass some or all of the below steps to ensure campus safety or patient safety in the clinical sites, and/or the safety of other students, Faculty and staff. Nothing in this or other policies shall be construed to prevent WAUSM from requiring students to always meet the university/program essential eligibility requirements and technical standards, and the policies and procedures that assure campus safety.

A student who takes repeated unapproved absences may be administratively withdrawn, or dismissed, at the discretion of the University without the ability to reapply for admission.

Administrative Leave of Absence

a. An administrative leave of absence (ALOA) is one that is granted by the SPC or the SADSA for a student who requires greater than five (5) days away from the curriculum. Reasons for an Administrative Leave of Absence include, but not limited to:

i. Severe circumstances the SPC or SADSA believe warrants an interruption in the student’s education

ii. Participation/completion of a required program or activity set forth by the SPC or SADSA, or the Campus or Executive Deans for a behavioral/professionalism infraction.

b. Upon return from the ALOA, the SPC or SADSA, in consultation with all pertinent parties will determine the student’s placement within the curriculum. The return may require repeating, or auditing of classes or rotations already taken.

c. WAUSM is concerned for the general safety, health, and well-being of the campus community including students, faculty and staff and the safety and well-being of patients. On occasion, a student may experience a medical situation that significantly limits their ability to function safely or successfully as a student, or the student may, because of the condition, no longer meet the minimum technical standards of the program. In some cases, the student may be so severely disruptive as to interfere with the academic pursuits and other activities of the academic and/or clinical community or to be considered to pose a threat to the care of patients. Although a voluntary medical leave of absence is preferable, a Campus Dean (or designee) may place such a student on an Administrative Leave of Absence.

Educational Leave of Absence

a. An Educational Leave of Absence is generally not granted for a period beyond one year. The Educational Leave of Absence may not exceed 180 days within a 12-month period if the student is actively enrolled in a program. The 12-month period begins on the first day of the student’s leave of absence. An Educational Leave of Absence may only be granted by the SPC and may only occur during semesters 6-10.

Personal Leave of Absence

a. The SPC may grant a personal leave of absence. If the leave is due to medical reasons, the student must provide the appropriate medical documentation, including but not limited to, a letter from the treating physician clearly stating the nature of the medical condition and reasons it requires a leave of absence. The SPC may require additional information to determine the appropriate timeframe for return. The SPC reserves the right to require a second opinion if the reason for the medical leave is not common for the medical condition or to confirm that a medical condition exists or if the SPC believes a second opinion is warranted.

Note: A student who is granted a Leave of Absence for which the effective date for the leave is on or after the first day of the semester and they are enrolled in the WAUSM Healthcare insurance will remain enrolled for the semester when the leave was taken.

Course and Faculty Evaluations

The evaluation completion policy has been designed to grant all students the opportunity and responsibility to evaluate faculty, curriculum delivery and implementation in an anonymous manner throughout the semesters. High quality, meaningful, and constructive feedback from the students will play an imperative role in WAUSM’s success, development, and growth.

Students’ evaluations play a vital and essential part in the continual improvement of WAUSM’s medical education program and all aspects of WAUSM. Our students’ feedback is critical to the medical profession and reflects the mutual obligation that teachers and learners have, to provide constructive commentary to each other as they seek to improve and enhance their performance. Consequently, all students are expected to actively participate in the University’s comprehensive evaluation program. The Office of Medical Education collects and compiles evaluation data, which are analyzed by the Office of Institutional Assessment and Quality to provide anonymized reports and analysis to the appropriate curriculum committees.

These committees, in conjunction with the Office of Medical Education, utilize the data to formulate and implement curriculum improvement and faculty development strategies. To attain valuable participation of every student in the evaluation process, the Office of Medical Education has established the following guidelines:

a. Students are expected to complete all assigned faculty teaching evaluations, final evaluation of courses and clerkships, and evaluations of other aspects of the educational program as part of their professional responsibilities at WAUSM.

b. Evaluations that students must complete will be assigned at appropriate times throughout the curriculum, with a clearly designated timeframe for completion. Whenever possible class time will be allotted for completion of evaluations.

c. WAUSM commits to assigning as few evaluations as possible to achieve the goal of ongoing curricular improvements and faculty development/evaluation.

d. Should a student receive an evaluation for a non-mandatory session that they did not attend, the student is expected to complete a few questions on why they chose not to attend and what alternative resources they used to master the material covered in the session.

e. As often as possible, results that are anonymous in nature that help improve the program of medical education and student services, will be released to faculty and students alike so that all members of the community can work together to better WAUSM’s Academic and Student programs.

Confidentiality of all Student Responses

Under normal circumstances, confidentiality of student responses on all evaluations is guaranteed. The responses to evaluations are always compiled and anonymized prior to being reported. Should a one-on-one relationship with a faculty member, such as a clinical preceptor, preclude confidentiality, then evaluation data will not be shared with the Faculty until more data is collected.

Should a student have any concerns or questions about the anonymity of an evaluation, he or she may speak to the module or clerkship director and/or the Senior Associate Dean, Student Affairs (SADSA).

Students are expected to complete all evaluations in a highly professional manner. All comments submitted in evaluations are shared verbatim with faculty once the grading process is complete and grades are submitted, so we expect them to be high quality, meaningful, constructive, and free of personal slurs.

Student completion rates and timeliness of completion on all evaluations will be tracked. If a student does not complete an evaluation by the due date, they will receive a notification with a reminder to complete the assigned evaluation(s).

If a student consistently fails to complete evaluations after receiving the reminders, the Office of Student Affairs will be informed and will meet with the student to discuss this professionalism concern, which may result in referral to the Student Progress Committee (SPC).

Licensing Examination

To become fully licensed to practice medicine in the United States, individuals must pass all three USMLE Step examinations. This section describes the required components of the USMLE licensing examinations during medical school and the implications for the residency match and graduation.

All students must take the USMLE Step 1 exam before beginning clinical clerkships and must receive a passing score for promotion to the next semester. Students must take and pass the USMLE Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) and the appropriate ECFMG Pathway Program, including the Occupational English Test (OET). Students are expected to take and pass each examination by the deadlines.

Students must be enrolled in WAUSM to be able to register for and take the USMLE Step 1 and USMLE Step 2 CK examinations. Students are required to complete applications for the USMLE examinations in sufficient time to request test dates on or before the deadlines.

Students with circumstances that prevent them from taking or retaking the USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK examinations by the required dates, must submit a petition in writing to SADSA as soon as possible. The SADSA will review the request and make a determination.

USMLE Step 1 Examination

Students are required to take the USMLE Step 1 examination no later than 16 weeks after completion of semester 5. Students who delay taking Step 1 until after this time are subject to action by the SPC.

Students who fail USMLE Step 1 on their initial attempt are required to take a leave of absence to prepare for and retake Step 1. Students must retake Step 1 within 16 weeks of their 1st attempt. Students who fail their second attempt are subject to being placed on a leave of absence. Students must pass their third attempt at Step 1 within 16 weeks of their 2nd attempt.

Failure to pass Step 1 on the third attempt will result in automatic dismissal from WAUSM.

USMLE Step 2 CK Examination

Passage of Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK) is required for graduation. Initial attempts to pass Step 2 CK must be completed by Dec 31 in the year preceding graduation. Step 2 CK should be taken no later than July-August for the results to be released in time for review by the residency programs when the Electronic Residency Application Service (ERAS) opens.

To ensure that a student who matches to a residency program is ready to start the PGY-1 year on time, any student who will not be able to obtain a passing score on USMLE Step 2 CK before the final date for submission of the NRMP rank order list will be withdrawn from the residency match by the Office of Student Affairs.

Failure to pass Step 2 CK on the third attempt will result in automatic dismissal from WAUSM.

ECFMG Pathway Programs

In response to the suspension and subsequent discontinuation of Step 2 CS by the USMLE, the ECFMG|FAIMER offers pathways to allow international medical graduates (IMGs) to meet the clinical and communication skills requirements for ECFMG Certification.

The Pathways allow ECFMG Certification to continue to perform its critical function of providing assurance to the public and U.S. graduate medical education (GME) programs that IMGs are ready to enter supervised training. They also allow qualified IMGs to continue to pursue ECFMG Certification and to compete for positions in U.S. GME.

Applicants who pursue one of the Pathways are required to attain a satisfactory score on the Occupational English Test (OET) Medicine to satisfy the communication skills requirement for ECFMG Certification. All Pathway applicants, regardless of citizenship or native language, must satisfy this requirement.

OET Medicine is only one of the requirements for completing a Pathway. Applicants also must submit an on-line application for the appropriate Pathway.

For a description of the pathways, eligibility information and application procedures, please visit: https://www.ecfmg.org/certification-requirements-2022-match/#allpath.

Unsatisfactory Performance and Academic Remediation

Students who fail to meet academic performance and professionalism standards during the 5 semesters at WAUSM will be subject to review by the Student Progress Committee (SPC) and could be considered for remediation, disciplinary action and/or dismissal. When deemed appropriate by SPC, remediation opportunities will be allowed.

Unsatisfactory Performance

a. Student performance extends beyond medical knowledge and academic performance. Behavior of a medical student reflects on the student’s ability to become a competent physician. The University expects all medical students to be professional in their interactions with patients, employees, faculty, and staff and to exhibit caring and compassionate attitudes. These and other qualities will be evaluated during patient contacts and in other relevant settings by both faculty and peers. In addition, students must adhere to WAUSM’s Code of Student Conduct.

b. In conferring the MD degree, WAUSM certifies that the student is prepared to enter the challenges of Graduate Medical Education. The MD degree also certifies that, in addition to competency in medical knowledge and skills, the graduate possesses those traits essential to the profession of medicine as judged by the faculty members, residents, and the student’s peers. Attitudes and/or behaviors, including, but not limited to alleged violations of WAUSM’s Code of Student Conduct may indicate unsatisfactory performance of professionalism. The SPC may review allegations of conduct that, in its judgment, indicate an academic deficiency and, if a deficiency is found, may dismiss the student. A SPC review of a student’s academic progress does not preclude a WAUSM review for student conduct code violations.

Academic Remediation

a. Failed Examination within a Course

i. The WAUSM curriculum is fast-paced and demands a high level of preparation and participation for student success. Any student who scores below a passing grade on any examination as defined in the missed examination policy must meet with the Center for Academic Success (CAS) to discuss their performance and learning strategies.

ii. The Center for Academic Success and the Office of Student Affairs will assist in formulating strategies to assist the student and will meet with the student to discuss correction strategies tailored to the student’s individual needs.

iii. The goal is to provide prompt and effective intervention to correct academic deficiencies to help prevent failure overall.

b. Failed Course

i. If a student fails a course and requires formal remediation to achieve a passing grade, the student will be presented to SPC for review.

    1. Foundations of Medicine (FoM): Students must pass all components of the course to pass the semester. Students who fail the FoM course may have the opportunity to repeat one (1) semester. All failures will be reviewed by the SPC.
    2. Patient Centered Care (PCC): Students failing the PCC 1 practical examination may remediate the examination after week 15 of the semester, within the first week of the semester break. Students successfully remediating the practical examination may not receive a total PCC 1 grade higher than 70%, regardless of remediation exam score or points received for the activity component of the PCC 1 course. Remediating students cannot receive high pass or honors for that semester. The remediation of the course will be noted internally for MSPE purposes.

c. Failed Semester –Pre-clerkship Program

i. Students must pass all components of the Foundations of Medicine course (FoM) and the Patient Centered Care (PCC) course to pass the semester. Students who fail either the PCC course or the FoM course without successful remediation, may have the opportunity to repeat one (1) semester. All failures will be reviewed by the SPC.

The University strongly encourages students to assume leadership positions in various sanctioned campus organizations and activities (e.g., class officer positions, student interest groups, health outreach missions, and the like). Students who accept such leadership positions should be in “good academic standing,” defined as:

• a passing grade in each course attempted

• successful completion of USMLE Step 1 on the first attempt (if applicable)

• a passing grade in each required clerkship (if applicable)

• passing grades in Step 2 CK (if applicable)•passing grade in OET (if applicable)

• passing grade in ECFMG Pathway (if applicable)

If students fall below this specified standard of academic performance, they may be required to relinquish their leadership position until their academic performance returns to the acceptable level. They also should seek assistance from appropriate advisers, counselors, and mentors.

Academic Counseling

The Center for Academic Success (CAS)

The Center for Academic Success is the main mechanism for student advising, facilitation of tutoring, teaching of study skills, monitoring of student performance, and mentoring. All WAUSM faculty are CAS mentors and: (1) monitor and support learning and provide early warning monitors of pressure within the scope of the curriculum, (2) assist students in career planning and development, and (3) provide information and support regarding WAUSM policies and procedures.

Clerkship Duty Hours and Industry Relations

This policy serves to describe an acceptable learning environment where faculty, students and residents are shielded from industry bias and are provided with an appropriate learning environment. This policy incorporates standards of practice comparable to those adopted by US medical schools. Rotating WAUSM medical students cannot exceed 80 average hours a week over a 4-week period with duty periods of 16 hours or less. A minimum of 8 duty-free hours must be allowed between scheduled duty periods. We abide by the ACGME duty hours.

WAUSM recognizes the possibility of conflict of interest or apparent conflict of interest in interactions with corporations, representatives of corporations and other individuals supported by medically related industries. At the same time, WAUSM recognizes that several medically related industries provide appropriate and legitimate support for educational and patient care activities.

Note: Requests for extramural electives must be submitted at least 90 days prior to start date. Requests for international extramural electives must be submitted at least six months in advance of your proposed travel date. Credit will not be given for extramural electives that have not been pre- approved by WAUSM.

Duty hours for medical students while on clinical rotations will be:

a .Medical students cannot be assigned clinical duty of more than 80 hours per week average, over a four-week period.

b .Maximum Duty Period Length: Duty periods must not exceed 16 hours in duration.

c .Minimum Time Off between Scheduled Duty Periods: Students should have 10 hours free of duty between scheduled duty periods.

If a student encounters a violation of the duty hours policy, they should report this violation to the Office of Student Affairs.

Extramural Elective Policy

Many fourth-year students are interested in participating in electives at other institutions across the US or internationally. These extramural electives allow students to explore different specialties or sites. Many opportunities exist but a certain amount of research and preparation goes into the process of applying for and securing extramural electives.

Established electives at LCME accredited medical schools, ACGME accredited residency training programs, and military facilities will be approved, if the elective can be accommodated in the student’s schedule. All other extramural electives (i.e., private practices, independent healthcare organizations or hospitals/clinics not affiliated with an accredited training program, out-of-network VT locations) must be reviewed and approved by the Office of Clerkship Educational Affairs to ensure they meet the appropriate goals and objectives that are expected from a 4th year rotation.

i. Students pursuing extramural electives must first complete the Extramural Electives Approval Form and submit to the Clerkship Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee.

ii. Include with the Extramural Electives Approval Form a letter of acceptance from the program director at the host institution (email, or screenshot from the host institution will be accepted) that identifies the student’s name, elective name, and elective dates.

iii. The student must provide contact information for the individual at the host institution who will facilitate review and signature on behalf of the host institution.

iv. The Clerkship Subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee oversees the review and approval processes.

v. To ensure a productive and safe learning environment, students and faculty should discuss the following, particularly for international electives and electives in non-traditional environments:

• Potential risks to the health and safety of patients, students, and the community

• The availability of emergency care

• The possibility of natural disasters, political instability, and exposure to disease

• The need for preparation prior to, support during, and follow-up after the elective

• The level and quality of supervision

• Any potential challenges to the code of medical ethics adopted by WAUSM

vi. An affiliation agreement is required to participate in any extramural elective. If WAUSM does not have or cannot establish an affiliation agreement with a site, then the student will not be permitted to attend the extramural elective.

vii. The student should contact the other clinical site to obtain their visiting student application information, fill out the application, and obtain any necessary supporting documents (i.e., transcript, certification of student status letter, processing fees, etc.). Host site application requirements may vary. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure they research each site and have all documentation necessary for their application.

viii. A final WAUSM assessment/evaluation form must be received for a grade to be recorded and credit to be awarded. It is the student’s responsibility to make sure that evaluations are returned.

ix. Students are responsible for all application fees, travel, food, and housing expenses associated with extramural electives.

x. Programs must verify that elective experience meets requirements for credit by their specialty board and/or any Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requirements for credit for the elective.

Visiting Student Policy

WAUSM will consider visiting students after the graduation of the charter class.

2021-2022

ACADEMIC CATALOG

The academic catalog describes the educational program and activities available at WAUSM. WAUSM’s curriculum is designed to build a solid foundation and positions students for success.

2021-2022

STUDENT HANDBOOK

The information contained in the student handbook serves as a guide for students throughout their academic, clinical,  and extracurricular life as members of the WAUSM community.

OFFICE OF THE UNIVERSITY

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