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, with a member or members of the faculty, or with legal counsel. Legal counsel at these meetings is for the purpose of support only. Final decisions of the Progress Committee may be appealed directly to the dean of the School of Medicine.
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.
Students requesting to take more than five years to complete medical school (more than six years for a joint-degree student in business or public health, more than seven years for a joint-degree student in law), must petition the Progress Committee in writing.