Progress Committee

The Progress Committee is made up of approximately twelve highly respected faculty members from different departments. The registrar and associate dean for student affairs are ex-officio members, and the committee is chaired by a senior faculty member. Faculty serving on the Progress Committee are thoughtful and fair individuals who have a deep interest in the well-being of students. The committee meets to review the progress of students, to decide whether each student should progress into the next year, and to consider special situations and disciplinary actions. Students’ records are reviewed for academic standing, moral and ethical character, professional behavior, good judgment, a sense of responsibility, sensitivity and compassion for individual needs, the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge, and emotional stability, demonstrating that the student is capable of becoming a safe and effective physician. The committee may take into account the academic record of the student, performance on board exams, letters and reports regarding incidents of unprofessional behavior, and personal testimony.

If, in the opinion of the Progress Committee, a student should repeat a course or a year, take a year’s leave of absence for special study, be suspended or be dismissed, the student will be notified in writing of the decision. A student who is put on academic probation or suspension will be advised in writing what must be done to get off academic probation or suspension or the consequences of not progressing satisfactorily over a specified timeline. A student may also be suspended for behavior deemed unprofessional or unethical. The student will be notified in writing of the reason for the suspension, what must be accomplished during the suspension, and when and on what conditions the suspension will terminate. A student having academic or professional problems being considered by the Progress Committee, may be asked to choose or be assigned a neutral faculty advocate who has no responsibility for evaluating or promoting that student. The role of this person is to be available to the student for advice and to keep the student on track. Language regarding disciplinary action taken regarding a student may appear in the student’s dean’s letter.

If a student protests the decision of the Progress Committee, he or she may petition a hearing of the Committee and may appear alone, or with an advisor who is a member of the YSM community.

Final decisions of the Progress Committee may be appealed directly to the dean of the School of Medicine. A student wishing to appeal should submit to the dean (or the dean’s designate), within seven days of the final decision of the Progress Committee, a written request describing the basis for the appeal. Appeals may be based on a claim that some pertinent evidence was not taken into account or that the Progress Committee’s consideration was unfair, and must describe the basis for such a claim. The dean (or the dean’s designate) shall review the appeal, and at his discretion may invite the student to meet with him. The dean (or the dean’s designate) may either issue a final decision, or may remand the case back to the Progress Committee for reconsideration. The dean (or the dean’s designate) shall communicate his decision by letter to the student and to the Progress Committee.

When a question arises which cannot wait for the next full meeting of the Progress Committee, an emergency meeting may be called, a subcommittee may be convened, or members of the Progress Committee may be polled for their opinions by phone or e-mail.

Sixth Year of Study

Requests for a sixth year of study in medical school must be made in writing to the Progress Committee, and will be granted only under extraordinary circumstances.  For MD/PhD students who have completed the requirements for both degrees, an additional year must be approved by the director of the MD/PhD Program before the request is made to the Progress Committee.