Section 8: Academic Policies

Admissions

Early Decision Program

UNLV School of Medicine will not have an early decision program for the 2016-17 admissions cycle, for the entering class in July 2017. The UNLV School of Medicine will offer an Early Decision Program (EDP) beginning in 2017-18 admissions cycle for the entering class of July 2018.

All prospective early decision program applicants are required to schedule an advising meeting with the Director of Admissions prior to submitting an application in AMCAS. This meeting will include assessment of applicant eligibility and competitiveness for the program. This meeting must take place prior to June 15 of the application year. Applicants who do not schedule this advising meeting will not be eligible for consideration for the early decision program.

Applicants who apply via this program may not apply to other medical schools. If accepted via the EDP, applicants must attend the UNLV School of Medicine.

Who should consider applying Early Decision?

The EDP is designed for highly competitive applicants who know that the UNLV School of Medicine is their preferred medical school.

Deadlines

  • August 1: Application must be submitted via AMCAS with designation of Early Decision for the UNLV School of Medicine; and the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs must receive all supplemental application materials.
  • August 15: UNLV School of Medicine EDP secondary application deadline
  • August/September: Interviews for EDP applicants who meet eligibility requirements will take place.
  • September 15: All EDP applicants will be notified of the Admissions Committee decision

Deferral Requests

Applicants accepted via the EDP may only be eligible for a deferral request due to an unforeseen and serious life-changing event. Applicants should not apply via EDP if they are aware of a possible reason that would prevent an on-time start in the MD program.

Deferred Admission

Students admitted to the UNLV School of Medicine may request a one-year deferral. Deferral requests are not encouraged and will only be considered in unusual circumstances for unforeseen and serious events. Except in the case of a medical emergency, deferral requests must be submitted prior to June 1 of the first year of medical school. No request, which exceeds one year, will be considered.

Accepted students who wish to consider a deferral should contact the Director of Admissions as soon as possible. An application for deferral is required.

Transfer Requests and Transfer Requests with Advanced Standing

Due to the unique curriculum of the UNLV School of Medicine, the school will not accept transfer requests.

Attendance and Participation

Attendance and active participation in small group and clinical activities is essential to the learning and culture of the UNLV School of Medicine. Small group and clinical activities are required components of the curriculum and attendance will be recorded. Students missing required sessions will be required to provide documentation of appropriate reasons or circumstances for their absence.If a student finds it necessary to miss a required session, it is the responsibility of the student to contact the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, who will approve the absence and notify appropriate faculty and supervising individuals of the student's approved absence. Failure to adhere to this requirement will lead to the absence being recorded as unexcused. Significant unexcused absences will be considered as a Violation of the Code of Professional Code of Conduct and Professional Responsibility and be referred to the Medical Student Progress Committee for consideration and potential sanction or remediation.

Absence for Personal Reasons (including Religious Observance)

In the event a student finds it necessary to miss a required class or clinical session due to a personal reason, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions of the date and time of the absence in advance. Personal reasons include, but are not limited to, absence for a religious holiday, academic events (presentations at meetings, including those at UNLV School of Medicine), and civic responsibilities (jury duty). It is the policy of the UNLV School of Medicine to be sensitive to religious obligations of its students.

Religious Observances: It shall be the responsibility of the student to notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions in writing no later than the end of the first week of classes for each semester of his/her intention to participate in religious holidays which do not fall on state holidays or periods of class recess. In addition, a notice to the class will be sent from the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions during the first month of classes requesting students to identify the dates and times of any personal absences to facilitate appropriate notification of faculty and supervising individuals and to minimize any disruption to the course of study for the class.

The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions has the discretion to disallow such absences based upon their potential impact on the educational experience. Any student missing educational assignments or requirements because of observance of religious holidays, shall, if possible, be given the opportunity make up the missed work. The make-up will apply to the religious holiday day absence only. This policy shall NOT apply in the event that administering the assignment at an alternate time would impose an undue hardship on the instructor or the institution that could not reasonably have been avoided. Generally students are expected to make up absences in a method consistent with course expectations. Requests for absences which are denied are subject to the student appeal process detailed in the Student Handbook, in Section 7.

Phase 3 Absence Policy

During Phase 3, there are 52 calendar weeks plus 3 weeks of winter break. Students only have 40 weeks of required assignments for graduation. Therefore, there is plenty of unassigned time for students to schedule:

  • Time Off
  • Study time for USMLE 2
  • Interviews
  • Conference Attendance

Unless otherwise specifically authorized by the School of Medicine’s Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, the only allowed absences during Phase 3:

  • Illness of self or immediate family member
  • Death of close family member
  • Emergencies and accidents
  • Taking USLME Step 2 CK/CS

Students must submit absence requests through the Clinical Student Request Form.

It is the student’s responsibility to contact the Course Director, Course Coordinator, and/or the Chief Resident on the team, of the absence. If the absence is due to an illness, the student is NOT obligated to disclose the nature of the illness. After more than three days of absence due to an illness, a medical note may be required in order to return to clinical activities.

Students have ten (10) total allowed absence days during the 40 weeks of required rotations. If a student misses more than one day on a 2-week rotation, or more than two days on a 4-week rotation, the student must make up missed time at the direction of the Course Director.

Students are excused during State of Nevada Observed Holidays. However, students are encouraged to work with their Course Director to seek additional learning opportunities during these holidays.

During Phase 3, students will follow the policy of Medical Student Clinical and Educational Work Hours.

Absence for Interviews

The months of November, December, and January are peak interview times for many residency programs, although some programs do interviews as early as October and into February. Students are not allowed to schedule required Sub-I or ICU rotations, or the required Nevada Community Medicine rotation, during the months of November, December, and January.

Students who sign up for other rotations during these months must notify their Clerkship Director at least TWO weeks prior to the date of their planned residency interview, and request the absence via the Clinical Student Request Form for attendance-tracking purposes. The student must make up any missed requirements and clinical rotations.

Examination Policies

Examination schedules are posted prior to the beginning of each academic year. All students are expected to take examinations at the scheduled date, time, and location. Students requesting alternate dates for examinations must notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions in advance with the reason for the request. The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will have the responsibility of approving or denying the student's request.

Excused Absences

Life circumstances or professional events may interfere with a student's ability to attend an examination as scheduled. Requests for excused absences require as much advanced notice as possible. It is the student's responsibility to detail the circumstances for the request as soon as the conflict is known. The Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions will have the authority to approve or deny the request. If the request is approved the Office of Student affairs will notify the course instructor/director(s) impacted by the absence for their approval of the request. The Office of Student Affairs will coordinate the scheduling of a missed exam.

If the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions denies the excused absence request, the student may appeal their decision to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs within 24 hours of learning of the denial. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs will inform the student of the final decision within two business days.

Make up exams: In the event a student finds it impossible to take an examination at the scheduled time because of medical, personal or family emergency, it is the responsibility of the student to notify the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions by email or phone in a timely manner.The Office of Student Affairs will notify the student of the scheduled make-up date.

Early exam takes: Students are not permitted to take scheduled exams prior to the scheduled examination time.

Unexcused Absences

An absence in any course, which is not approved by the Office of Student Affairs, is considered unexcused. A first unexcused absence will require the student to meet with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. A second unexcused absence will required a second meeting with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions and an appearance before the Medical Student Progress Committee. A third unexcused absence will require another appearance before the Student Promotions Committee and a professionalism lapse will be reported.

Voluntary Leave of Absence or Voluntary Health Withdrawal

Students may request a Voluntary Leave of Absence for personal or family reasons. Students must be in good academic standing and not subject to academic actions or professionalism violations to be eligible for a voluntary leave of absence. The request must be presented in writing to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions in a timely manner. Students must indicate the reason for requesting a leave of absence as well as an expected time the student anticipates returning to full-time academic status.

A student may seek a Voluntary Leave of Absence for Medical Reasons (Voluntary Health Withdrawal). This request must be submitted in writing to the UNLV Health Withdrawal Committee. A copy of the process and forms for submitting a Request for Voluntary Health Withdrawal are online. The Voluntary Health Withdrawal Committee will make a recommendation to the School of Medicine Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. This recommendation will include information submitted by the medical student to the committee. The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will inform the Student Progress Committee of all approved Voluntary Health Withdrawals.

Returning to Medical School

Medical students who require either type of voluntary leave of absence, should be aware that returning to the curriculum will be based upon both their readiness to return as well as the academic calendar. The design of the curriculum is based upon three integrated phases for cohorts of students. Courses are not offered each semester, but organized by Phase 1, 2, 3. Medical students who are granted a leave of absence from any of the three phases, may be required to repeat previous components of each phase which he/she had successfully repeated; and/or be required to return at the start of the current or previous phase. Students should be aware that the impact of a leave of absence will include increasing his/her time in medical school. A leave of absence may also impact a student's eligibility for financial aid and/or deferment of financial aid payments.

Voluntary Leave of Absence: Students requesting a leave for personal or family issues must indicate the reason for the request and provide a timeline for returning to classes in the request.

Medical Leave of Absence/Voluntary Health Withdrawals: Students who were approved for this leave, are required to obtain a Medical Clearance and Fitness to Participate in the Academic and Clinical Program of Studies Evaluation from a licensed medical provider prior to returning to classes. Students must also satisfy other requirements put in place at the time the withdrawal was approved. This evaluation must be presented to the UNLV Voluntary Health Withdrawal Committee prior to returning to classes or clinical activities. The Medical Student Progress Committee may also require additional requirements and/or assessment by a medical provider of the medical school's choice. If the medical school requires the assessment, the financial cost will be the responsibility of the School of Medicine.

The maximum time allowed for a medical leave of absence or voluntary health withdrawal is one year. Students who require longer than a one-year leave of absence, and who are not enrolled in a formal degree program, or who are denied a requested extension of the leave, may apply for withdrawal from the UNLV School of Medicine. Students must consult with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. If a student fails to obtain a withdrawal, the student may be subject to dismissal.

The Office of Student Affairs will notify the Registrar of the change in academic status and anticipated return to full-time status in the UNLV School of Medicine.

While on a Leave of Absence, the student is prohibited from participation in academic, clinical or extracurricular activities associated with the UNLV School of Medicine.

Leave of Absence to Pursue Additional Degree

The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions may grant a student who is enrolled in a formal degree program at UNLV School of Medicine or another university an extended leave of absence. The student must apply annually, in writing, to renew the leave of absence. This written application must be provided to the Office of Student Affairs by the start of each academic year. Emails will be accepted and the student should provide verification of good standing from the degree program.

Involuntary Leave of Absence

Subject to and in accordance with UNLV Policy (Health Withdrawal Voluntary/Involuntary) the following sets forth the UNLV School of Medicine involuntary leave of absence policy: If a student demonstrates behavior that poses or potentially poses a danger of causing physical harm to self or others, or demonstrates the inability to provide for personal needs, such that there is a reasonable possibility of harm or death within a short period of time, the University may place the student on an Involuntary Leave of Absence from the UNLV School of Medicine.The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions is the designee who shall be informed of student behavior from a variety of sources at the medical school and university which may lead to a recommendation of an involuntary leave of absence.

Notification: When possible, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will notify the student that involuntary leave is under consideration. Every attempt will be made to meet with the student to discuss the behavior. The student may be encouraged to take a voluntary leave of absence. If the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, or designee, believes the student's health is in imminent danger, he/she may proceed without notifying the student. Upon deciding to recommend involuntary leave of absence for a student, the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will communicate the decision to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education, who will make the final decision.

Show Cause Hearing: Members of the Medical Student Progress Committee will be convened within 5 days to review the circumstances of the involuntary leave of absence action. The Medical Student Progress Committee will base its decision upon the extent the student engages in, or is judged to be likely to engage in behavior which may endanger the student, others, and/or patients. The Medical Student Progress Committee may seek additional information from other university administrators, faculty, or staff. Every effort will be made to contact the student. The student may refuse to provide information, but the refusal will not limit the right of the committee to take action on the involuntary leave of absence nor limit the right of the School of Medicine to require the leave of absence.

Medical Student Progress Committee Decision: The Committee can decide to uphold the administrative action by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education requiring the involuntary leave of absence. The Committee may also make recommendations or put other requirements in place under which the student may remain in the medical school.

The student will receive written notice of the Medical Student Progress Committee decision. The notice will provide:

  1. Summary of the reasons for the decision;
  2. Duration of the involuntary leave of absence or the requirements for the students to remain in the medical school;
  3. Requirements the student must take to request re-admission if the involuntary leave is upheld.

The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions may notify a spouse or partner, or parent or guardian, of the medical school's action, in accordance with FERPA or with the student's consent.

During the period of Involuntary Leave, the student may NOT participate in academic, clinical or extracurricular activities associated with the UNLV School of Medicine or UNLV.

Students placed on Involuntary Leave will not be permitted to return to full-time student status without an evaluation of their Fitness to Participate in the Academic and Clinical Program of Studies Evaluation completed by an evaluator selected by the School of Medicine.

The Office of Student Affairs will notify the Registrar and Office of Financial Aid of any change in student enrollment status.

Changes in enrollment status may impact a student's qualification for Financial Aid and/or participation in university sponsored health insurance.

Withdrawals

The student requests a withdrawal for an indefinite period of time and/or when there is little or no intention on the part of the student of returning to medical school.

Withdrawals during the Foundations Phase

A student who withdraws during the Foundations Phase for other than health reasons and wishes to return to medical school must reapply through the regular admissions process as if he/she is a new applicant. Academic records from the prior period of enrollment will be reviewed as part of the admissions process for re-applicants due to a withdrawal.

If a student withdraws because of illness during the Foundations Phase, he/she will be allowed to apply for readmission through the Medical Student Progress Committee. The student will be required to submit a statement from a physician concerning his/her health status and ability to meet the UNLV School of Medicine Technical Standards. Reapplication does not guarantee readmission to the program.

Withdrawals in the Clerkship and/or Exploration Phases

Withdrawal is available to students who are in good standing and have completed the Foundations Phase of the curriculum. If, at the time of the withdrawal request, the student is not subject to academic probation or other academic or professionalism actions by the UNLV School of Medicine, the student may be granted a withdrawal. Students who withdraw while in good standing may apply for readmission with advanced standing to the Medical Student Progress Committee. Permission to reapply does not guarantee readmission. The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, with the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education, will review each request on a case-by-case basis.

Students who apply for readmission will be subject to the Fitness to Participate in the Academic and Clinical Program of Studies Evaluation policy and procedures and must be able to meet the Technical Standards of the medical school. Documentation of the students ability to meet the technical standards may be required.

All students who re-apply for admissions with advanced standing will be subject to review by the Medical Student Progress Committee, who may take the following actions:

  1. Readmission with no conditions;
  2. Readmission with conditions;
  3. Denial of readmission until further evidence of readiness to return to medical school is presented, or;
  4. Denial of readmission

If a student is not in good standing, but there are extenuating circumstances, a student may also apply for withdrawal from the School of Medicine. The approval of the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admission is required.

Each student who withdraws from the UNLV School of Medicine will receive notification of their status and eligibility for reapplication at the time of withdrawal. Withdrawal requests will be made to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs, and approved by the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions.

Medical Student Clinical and Educational Work Hours

Medical student clinical and educational work hours (duty hours) policy closely follows ACGME common program requirements. These hours include all required clinical and academic activities related to courses and clerkships, including:

  • Assigned inpatient and outpatient hours.
  • Time spent in assigned clinical duties, including administrative duties, which are directly related to patient care.
  • Time spent in-house during call.
  • Hours in scheduled learning activities, such as lectures or conferences. 

Specific clinical and educational work hour restrictions are outlined below:

  1. Clinical and educational work hours must be limited to no more than 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period.
  2. Medical students must have a minimum of one day in seven free of clinical work and required education time, when averaged over four weeks.
  3. Medical students should have eight hours off between scheduled clinical work and education periods.
  4. Clinical and educational work periods for medical students must not exceed 24 hours of continuous scheduled assignments. 
  5. Medical students must have at least 14 hours free of clinical and educational assignments after 24 hours of in-house call.
  6. In rare circumstances, after completing required clinical and educational responsibilities, medical students, on their own initiative, may elect to remain or return to the learning site in the following circumstances: (a) to continue to provide care to a single patient on their “panel”; (b) to offer humanistic attention to the needs of a patient or family; or, (c) to attend unique educational events. These additional hours of care or education will be counted toward the 80-hour weekly limit.

Student Responsibilities

The School of Medicine does not require students to log their hours. It is the responsibility of the students to manage their duty hours to avoid a violation, while meeting the educational expectations and activities of the course. On course evaluations, students will respond to questions about compliance with duty hour policy.

Reporting of Duty Hour Violations

Students who believe they have been required to exceed the duty hour work limits should notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. The Senior Associate Dean will gather information from the student, supervising faculty and residents, and other students to determine the circumstances under which the violation occurred.

Student Progress and Advancement in each Curriculum Phase

Required in order to Progress from Year 1 to Year 2:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all focused science Block material as evaluated by the faculty
  2. Satisfactory completion of all written and web based assignments as evaluated by the faculty
  3. Satisfactory completion of all Clinical Skills components of the curriculum as evaluated by the faculty
  4. Demonstrate satisfactory professional development as evaluated by peers and by the faculty

Required in order to progress from Year 2 to Year 3:

  1. Satisfactory completion of all focused science Block material as evaluated by the faculty
  2. Satisfactory completion of all written and web based assignments as evaluated by the faculty
  3. Satisfactory completion of all Clinical Skills components of the curriculum as evaluated by the faculty
  4. Demonstration of satisfactory professional development as evaluated by peers and by the faculty
  5. Successful completion of the end-of-year OSCE
  6. Achieving a passing score on Step 1 of the U.S. Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE)

From Year 3 to Year 4 a student must:

  1. Satisfactory completion of Clinical Component of all required Clerkship experiences
  2. Satisfactory completion of the academic component of all required clerkship experiences
  3. Demonstration of satisfactory professional development as evaluated by peers and faculty on required clerkship experiences
  4. Successful completion of end-of-year OSCE

Graduation Requirements

The Medical Student Progress Committee is responsible for making final decisions regarding the progress, promotion, and qualification for graduation of students in the School of Medicine. A documented concern about a student's performance, professional conduct, or personal behavior may result in a Committee determination of unsatisfactory progress when the record is reviewed by the Medical Student Progress Committee. The Medical Student Progress Committee will consider completion of required courses and clerkships as well as documented professional conduct and personal behavior in making the final determination of whether the student has met the standards for promotion and for graduation.

The awarding of the Doctor of Medicine degree is contingent upon the satisfactory completion of all curricular and academic requirements, and the satisfactory practice of acceptable professional conduct and personal behavior. In addition to the required courses and clerkships, every student is required to participate in all intersessions, successfully complete a scholarly research project, and pass all components of the Objective Structured Clinical Examinations and the United States Medical Licensure Examinations: Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge, and Step 2 Clinical Skills within the time limit as described in the Student Handbook.

Student evaluation is based upon the observation of faculty and others in a teaching role of the student's behavior and conduct as well as performance on papers, presentations, and examinations. A pattern of documented evaluator concerns about a student's performance may indicate unsatisfactory performance when the record is viewed as a whole, even though passing grades have been assigned in individual curricular elements such as the required courses and clerkships. Here are the requirements need to graduate from UNLV School of Medicine:

  1. Satisfactory completion of clinical components of all required and elective Clerkship experiences.
  2. Satisfactory completion of academic components of all required and elective Clerkship experiences.
  3. Demonstration of satisfactory professional development as evaluated by peers and faculty on required clerkship and elective experiences, both clinical and non-clinical.
  4. Achieving a passing score on Step 1, Step 2 Clinical Knowledge and Step 2 Clinical Skills of the USMLE.
  5. Completion of required credits by curriculum phase, as follows:
    • Phase 1: 93 credits
    • Phase 2: 56 credits
    • Phase 3: 40 credits
    • Total required credits: 189
FOUNDATIONS PHASE Total Credits: 93
Emergency Response & Population Health 12 credits
Introduction to Medical Science 6 credits
Hematology & Cancer 4 credits
Musculoskeletal & Skin 5 credits
Gastroenterology, Endocrinology, & Reproduction 8 credits
Cardiology, Pulmonary, Renal 12 credits
Mind, Brain, and Behavior 9 credits
Multi-systems Disease 7 credits
Doctoring 1, 2, 3 3 credits
Primary Care Continuity Clerkship 1, 2, 3 3 credits
Analytics in Medicine 1, 2, 3 3 credits
Nevada Community Service 1, 2, 3 3 credits
RESEARCH & SCHOLARSHIP Total Credits: 18
Research (Summer 2018) 12 credits
Research (Spring 2019) 6 credits
CLERKSHIPS PHASE Total Credits: 56
Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship
Family Medicine 8 credits
Integrative, Behavioral & Metabolic (IBM) 4 credits
Medicine 8 credits
Neurology or Neurosurgery 4 credits
ObGyn 8 credits
Pediatrics 8 credits
Psychiatry 8 credits
Surgery 8 credits
CAREER PREPARATION PHASE Total Credits: 40
Clinical Electives: 5 four-week blocks 20 credits
Subinternship 1 4 credits
Subinternship 2 4 credits
Nevada Community Medicine 4 credits
Critical Care 4 credits
TRANSITION TO RESIDENCY Total Credits: 4
Capstone 4 credits

TOTAL MINIMUM CREDITS FOR UNLV MD DEGREE: 189 Credits

Limit on Time of Enrollment in the School of Medicine

Students must complete all requirements for the M.D. degree within a period of time not to exceed six years from the date of initial matriculation. Failure to meet this timeline may result in dismissal from the School of Medicine. Time away from studies for medical, personal or family concerns is included in the total of six-year limit. Time during which a medical student is enrolled in a formal degree program while on a voluntary leave of absence which has been approved by the Medical Student Progress Committee does NOT count toward the six-year time limit.

Academic Actions

Students, who do not meet student progress and advancement standards, including graduation requirements and limit on the time of enrollment, as well as professionalism and code of conduct policies, are subject to presentation to the Medical Student Progress Committee which has the authority to determine academic actions and approve remediation recommendations made by the block or clerkship director, faculty member, or department in responding to a student failure. Academic actions can include, but are not limited to, course, USMLE, or block remediation, repeat of an academic year, extended curriculum, leaves of absences, academic probation, sanctions, additional educational activities, and dismissal from medical school.

Academic Warning

Students who are required to complete remediation in any phase of the curriculum will receive an academic warning. Students who receive an academic warning may have additional limitations placed upon their participation in extracurricular activities to assist in giving them time to successfully remediate the reason for the academic warning. Students who receive repeated academic warnings may be subject to Medical Student Progress Committee review for possible academic probation. This will be determined upon a case-by-case basis. Students who are determined to have marginal academic performance may be subject to academic warning at the discretion of the Committee. Marginal academic performance may be include:

  • repeated test failures
  • multiple remediation
  • passing a course very close to the minimum grade
  • other factors determined by the Committee

Effective July 1, 2018:

M1 Students
Academic Warning: 3 to 5 points
M2 Students: 2 points

Academic Probation

Students are placed on academic probation for a failing grade or failure of any of the USMLE Step Examinations; lapse in professionalism or violation of the Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Responsibility. Students who are placed on academic probation may have additional limitations placed upon their participation in extracurricular activities or service in leadership roles to assist in giving them time to successfully remediate the requirements of the probation. Students will remain on probation until the remediation is successfully completed and/or the conditions set by the Committee have been determined to be completed.

Effective July 1, 2018:

M1 Students
Academic Probation: 6 points

USMLE Examinations Policy and Process

Each student must take USMLE Step 1 prior to the beginning of the Transitions to Clerkships course. Students who are approved for a leave of absence to pursue an additional formal degree at UNLV or another institution must take USMLE Step 1 prior to beginning their leave of absence and/or coursework for their additional degree program. The student must have a passing score reported prior to completing the Transitions to Clerkships course. A passing score on USMLE Step 1 is required prior to beginning any clerkship. If there is an unforeseen delay by the National Board of Medical Examiners in reporting the score, exceptions to this policy will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions may grant a delay in taking Step 1 to a student. If a delay is granted, the student cannot begin clerkships and must make the first attempt on Step 1 no later than 12 weeks from the end of the Transitions to Clerkships course. The Medical Student Progress Committee will be informed by the Office of Student Affairs of any delays for students in taking USMLE Step 1.

Every student is required to pass USMLE Step 1 within 12 months of the date of the first attempt. If a student believes they require additional time beyond 12 months, he/she must request additional time from the Medical Student Progress Committee, after consultation with the Learning Resources Director and the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. Students will be granted no more than a total of 18 months to obtain a passing score on USMLE Step 1. No further extensions after the 18 months extended deadline will be allowed and the student will be subject to dismissal.

Each student must take USMLE Step 2 CK by October 30 of the year prior to year in which they are scheduled to graduate. A student can request a delay in taking USMLE Step 2 CK from the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. Students must make their first attempt on Step 2 CK no later than December 30 of the same year. Students who are granted a delay and take Step 2 CK after October 30 will be required to extend their medical education and graduate with the following class. Students who require a retake on USMLE Step 2 CK must obtain a passing score within 12 months of the date of his/her first attempt on the exam. If a student believes he/she requires additional time beyond the 12 months, he/she must request additional time from the Medical Student Progress Committee, after consultation with the Learning Resources Advisor and the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. Students will be granted no more than a total of 18 months to obtain a passing score on USMLE Step 2 Clinical Knowledge (CK). No further extensions will be allowed. In reviewing a student request for an extension to the timeline for Step 2 CK, the Committee will review any previous extensions granted for USMLE Step 1 and the total time enrolled in the medical school curriculum.

Students must take USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills (CS) no later than December 30 of the year prior to their scheduled year of graduation.

Any delays or extensions granted for students for any of the required USMLE Step Examinations count toward the total maximum time in medical school curriculum. Passage of USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS are required to graduate from the UNLV School of Medicine.

Students who require a second attempt on USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK or CS must meet with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions and the Learning Resources Advisor to plan his/her preparation and timeline for a retake. Students, who require a third, and final, attempt on USMLE Step 1 or USMLE Step 2 CK or CS must appear before the Medical Student Progress Committee. The Committee, in consultation with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions and Learning Resources Advisor, will establish the date for the third retake. The Committee will consider the student's previous scores, previous delays granted for USMLE Step Examinations, and the plan proposed by the student, with the Office of Student Affairs faculty, in setting the deadline for the third retake.

Dismissal for USMLE Licensing Exam Failures

Students will be dismissed from medical school if a student fails any one of the USMLE licensing examinations (Step 1, Step 2 CK, or Step 2 CS) three times. Dismissal will occur after the third failing score. Dismissal will also occur if a student accumulates three failing scores on any combination of the USMLE licensing examinations. Students who do not obtain a passing score on USMLE Step 1 or Step 2 CK and/or CS within the timeframes, or who exceeds the six-year maximum time to degree allowed, will be dismissed from medical school.

Grading Policies

Phase 1- Integrated Organ System Courses and Longitudinal Courses

During Phase 1, grading in all courses is Pass/Fail. Students will be provided with interim assessments at the midpoint of each Integrated Organ System Course. Narrative assessment detailing student performance, professional development and identifying areas for improvement will be provided to assist students in the process of personal improvement and self-assessment.

Exams: Passing scores for each exam will be set at the NBME predicted mean (per exam) minus ten points (-10). The threshold passing score for a given exam will never exceed 70%, and the majority of exams administered to date have had a passing threshold of 70%. A marginal failure (MF) usually translates to a score ranging from 60 to 69%, and an egregious failure (EF) usually translates to score equal to or less than 59%.

Longitudinal Courses- Doctoring, Nevada Community Service, Analytics in Medicine

Students will be assessed using written examinations, essays, observed history and physical examination as well as participation in small group discussion and oral or written presentations as determined by individual course directors. Students will receive both written and verbal feedback at the midpoint of each semester in order to assist in the process of personal improvement and self-assessment.

Phase 2- Longitudinal Integrated Clerkships

During Phase 2, grading is Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail. Grades are determined by assessment of clinical performance in addition to a student's performance on the NBME subject examination for individual components (e.g., Internal Medicine, Surgery, Psychiatry, etc.).

Clinical Assessment: At the midpoint of each Block of the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship, students will meet with individual clerkship directors to receive written and verbal feedback on their performance in individual components of the clerkship. Students will review areas of identified strength as well as areas in need of improvement. If a student is identified by clerkship faculty as being “at risk” for not meeting clerkship requirements, the clerkship director will assist the individual student to identify and develop a specific plan to accomplish goals and tasks necessary for successful completion of the clerkship.

NBME Subject Examinations: Each student will have two attempts to successfully complete each Subject Examination. Achieving a minimum passing score or higher is a requirement for successful completion of each component of the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship. Students, who achieve a passing score on the initial attempt at the Subject Exam, may choose to accept their first score or they may sit for the second exam in order to increase the score and raise the clerkship grade. Students who are unsuccessful in passing the Subject Examination on the first sitting will be required to retake the exam at the second sitting. If a student fails the Subject Examination on the second sitting, the student will receive a grade of Fail for the clerkship component.

Phase 3- Exploration Phase

During Phase 3, grading is Honors/ High Pass/ Pass/ Fail. Grades are determined by assessment of clinical performance as determined by course/clerkship faculty. Students are provided with both written and verbal feedback at the midpoint of each elective rotation in order to identify areas of strength as well as needed improvement. Students who are felt by clerkship faculty as being “at risk” for not meeting clerkship requirements will meet with the clerkship director to develop an individual improvement plan with specific goals and tasks necessary for successful completion of the clerkship. The student and faculty will also develop a specific plan for monitoring the completion of tasks and goals.

Incomplete Grades: Students will receive a grade of Incomplete if all requirements of a course are not successfully completed at the end of an individual course. All grades of incomplete must be remediated successfully by the completion of the academic year. Students may not progress with unresolved grades of incomplete.

Withdrawal: Students are not permitted to withdraw from individual courses due to academic difficulty. Policies and processes for withdrawal from the curriculum as well as Leave of Absence policies are found in Section 7.

Remediation in All Curriculum Phases

Course or clerkship/elective faculty share responsibility with the individual student of monitoring student performance in the curriculum. Students are expected to follow their performance on individual quizzes as well as other measures for individual courses (essays, written exams, observed physical and history, etc.). The Student Progress Committee will follow student performance in the medical school curriculum and is responsible for approving any and all remediation after students are assigned a non-passing grade such as Incomplete or Fail. Remediation plans for specific courses are developed by individual course directors and are approved by the Student Progress Committee. Students may request to appear before the Student Progress Committee when remediation plans are being considered.

Remediation plans will be based upon the individual student’s identified academic or professional deficits and will be tailored by the course director and Student Progress Committee. Remediation will be determined by the Associate Dean for Biomedical Science Integration in Phase 1; the Associate Dean for Clinical Education in Phase 2 and 3, working with appropriate block or clerkship director and presented to the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions will report remediation to the Medical Student Progress Committee. Students may be required to appear before the committee prior to its review and approval of remediation requirements. The Student Progress Committee will determine deadlines for successful remediation. During Phase 3 of the curriculum, any remediation of elective/ clerkship deficits must be completed by April 1 to meet the graduation requirements of the School of Medicine.

Students are not permitted to remediate more than two course grades of Incomplete during a single academic year. Students who receive more than two incomplete grades will be reviewed by the Student Progress Committee.

Effective July 1, 2018:

M1 Students: Students may remediate exams resulting in less than or equal to six points during the course of the first academic year. If a student fails exams resulting in seven (7) or more points over the course of the first academic year, the student is subject to repeating the first year or dismissal from medical school.

M2 Students: Students may remediate exams resulting in less than or equal to two (2) points during the course of the second academic term. If a student fails exams resulting in four (4) or more points over the course of the second academic term, the student is subject to repeating the second year or academic dismissal.

  • First Test Failure = 0 points
  • Marginal Failure = 1 point (within 9 points of passing score)
  • Egregious Failure = 3 points (10 points or more below the passing score)

Marginal failures may be remediated during the intersession week. Students may remediate up to two marginal failures in a single intersession week. Any failure that requires longer than 4 days to remediate will be required to be completed during the subsequent summer.

Grade Replacement in Phase 1 

Transcript

Grade Replacements
Phase 1

Remediation

Incomplete → Pass

Incomplete to a Pass.

Approved remediation successfully completed prior to the end of the phase.

Incomplete → Pass

Incomplete to a Pass, with Incomplete remaining on the transcript.

Remediation successfully completed after the end of the Phase.

Incomplete → Fail

Incomplete to a Fail.

Remediation is not successfully completed; student is required to repeat the course and/or Phase.

Grade Replacements in Phase 2

Incomplete → Pass/High Pass/Honors

Incomplete to a grade earned by performance on remediation criteria.

Approved remediation successfully completed prior to the end of Phase 2.

Incomplete → Pass

Incomplete to a Pass

Two remediations successfully completed prior to the end of Phase 2.

Incomplete → Fail

Incomplete to a Fail (clerkships)

Two failures of the same shelf exam will result in failure of the clerkship.

Grade Replacements in Phase 3

Incomplete → Pass

Incomplete to a Pass

Elective rotation remediation successfully completed by the deadline set in the approved remediation plan.

Incomplete → IP/Pass

Incomplete to a Pass, with Incomplete remaining on the transcript.

Elective rotation remediation successfully completed past the deadline required in the remediation plan, but prior to the final deadline of April 1 of Year 4.

Incomplete→ Fail

Incomplete to a Fail

Any Phase 3 remediation, which remains incomplete by April 1 of Year 4.

In Progress

Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship

Final grade assigned at the end of the LIC

Intersessions

Remediation plans will be designed to use intersession weeks for students to complete requirements.

Student Appeals Due Process and Policy

There are four categories of actions which students can appeal. These include:

  • Grade and Narrative Comments
  • Professionalism and Code of Conduct findings
  • Academic Actions
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid

Complaints or violations of Title IX policies governing sexual harassment or discrimination are subject to their own appeals process. This information can be found in Section 9.

Appeal Process for Individual Grades and Narrative Comments

Faculty members are qualified to judge a students academic performance. Evaluation and graded components should be clear to the student and communicated at the start of the student's experience. The course directors, clerkship directors, or the elective rotation faculty generates grades. Students, may appeal under the following circumstances:

  • Student has received a failing grade
  • Student disagrees with narrative evaluation comments, regardless of overall final grade.

Students are not permitted to appeal grades of Pass or High Pass

Process for Appeal of Failing Grade

A student is required to first meet with the course or clerkship faculty who assigned the grade. The faculty member will discuss the student's concerns and review the criteria by which the final grade was assigned. The faculty member may determine that additional information is needed. The faculty member will make a decision to keep the original grade or submit an amended grade to the Registrar. Students may appeal a grade decision to the course faculty within two weeks of the grade posting.

If the course directors decision is unsatisfactory, the student may appeal to the Medical Student Progress Committee. The student will provide information on the grounds for the grade appeal. Students can choose to address the Committee. The Committee may require the student to appear. The Committee will forward notice of their decision to the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education and the student within 5 days of the decision. The Committee will apply the following standards to decisions on grade appeals.

  1. Assignment of a course grade is made upon a basis other than the student's performance in the course.
  2. Assignment of the grade was made using an unreasonable standard or standards different than those applied to other students in the course.
  3. Assignment of a course grade by an unreasonable, or unannounced, departure from the instructors previously announced standards.

If the student wishes to appeal the Committee's decision, he/she must notify the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education, in writing, within 5 days of the decision of the intent to appeal. The Vice Dean's review will be limited to reviewing the process followed during the appeal process and Committee decision. The Vice Dean's decision is final.

Process for Appeal of Narrative Evaluation Comments:

Students who wish to appeal Narrative Evaluation comments must notify the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions within two weeks of receiving notice of the evaluation comments.

The Medical Student Progress Committee will consider appeals to comments and students will be notified of the results of the appeal in writing within 5 business days of the Committee Meeting.The decision of the Medical Student Progress Committee is considered final and no further appeal of Narrative Comments is allowed. The Committee will apply the following standards to decisions on appeals to Narrative Evaluation comments:

  1. The comments reflect a basis other than the student's performance in the course.
  2. The comments reflect an unreasonable standard or standards different than those applied to other students in the course.
  3. The comments represent an unreasonable, or unannounced, departure from the instructors previously announced standards.

Process for the Appeal for Violations of Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Responsibility

Students who wish to appeal a decision of the Vice Dean regarding violations of the Code of Professional Conduct and Professional Responsibility will submit the basis for their appeal to the Student Progress Committee.

The first step to begin the appeal process is for the student to meet with the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions). Students must notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions within two weeks of receiving notice of the Vice Deans decision. Appeals of the Vice Deans decision will be considered by the Medical Student Progress Committee and students will be notified within 5 business days of the committee meeting of the decision. Students may choose to address the committee. The Committee may require a student to appear before the Committee. The decision of the Medical Student Progress Committee is considered final and no further appeal of Code of Conduct and Professional Responsibility actions is allowed. The Committee will apply the following standards to decisions on appeals.

  1. The decision reflects a basis other than the student's actions as reported during the investigation of the violation allegations.
  2. The decision was made using an unreasonable standard or standards, which differ from those applied to other students in similar situations.
  3. The decision was made using an unreasonable or unannounced departure from the Code of Conduct and Professional Responsibility policy and procedures.

Academic Actions Appeal and Due Process Rights for Students

Students may appeal academic actions taken by the Medical Student Progress Committee. Academic actions include academic warnings, academic probation, remediation, extension of a student's time in medical school, a leave of absence, a suspension or dismissal, or failure to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for financial aid, including scholarships, loans, and or grants. Students who intend to appeal a decision of the committee must notify, in writing, the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions within five days of receiving the decision of the Committee. Student appeals must describe in detail the basis of the appeal and provide information to support the appeal. Students should communicate closely with the Senior Associate Dean of Student Affairs and in preparing the appeal documentation. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs will consider appeals. Decisions upon appeals will be based upon the following:

  1. Is new information about the student available that was unknown by the student or the Committee when the academic action was decided upon by the Committee?
  2. Was the decision based upon unreasonable standards or standards different from those applied to other students in similar situations in the past?
  3. Was there a procedural error in the Committee's review and consideration of the student's circumstances?

The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs may uphold the Committee's decision, overturn the Committee's decision and issue a new decision or refer the matter back to the Committee for further consideration and review. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs will inform the student of the results of the Appeal within five days of receiving the initial appeal. The Vice Dean for Academic Affairs may request to meet with the individual student.

The Vice Deans decisions are final for appeals, except in the matter of dismissals from medical school. In the case of a decision to dismiss a student from medical school, students may appeal the Vice Deans decision to the Dean of the medical school.

Students have the right to appeal the decision to dismiss made by the Medical Student Progress Committee. Notification of the intent to appeal must be made in writing within five days of receipt of notification from the Progress Committee. Students will notify the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions. The student may request to meet with the Dean of the medical school to discuss the appeal. The medical school Dean may request to meet with the student. The Dean of the School of Medicine will notify the student of the results of the appeal in writing. The decision of the Dean of the School of Medicine is final and may not be appealed further. Students who are dismissed from the School of Medicine are not eligible for readmission.

Student Rights

Students have access to his/her complete academic files during the appeal process. Students with complaints, questions, or requests for review of his/her academic record should contact the Director of Student Affairs in the Office of Student Affairs. Access to the student file is subject to the limitation that viewing restrictions will exist for components of the file for information provided by others to which the student has waived his/her right to access, such as letters of recommendation. The student must allow a reasonable time for the Office of Student Affairs to make the file available.

During the appeal process the student may be removed from all classes and clinic participation.

A “Support Individual” may accompany a student if the student is requested to be in attendance at the Medical Student Progress Committee. This individual may be a fellow student, parent, advisor, pastor, or legal counsel. The Support Individual is not permitted to speak to the Medical Student Progress Committee for the student, ask questions, or participate in the deliberations in any way.

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid

Students who decide to appeal must state the reasons for failure to meet SAP requirements. Reasons may include special circumstances, such the death of a relative, an injury or illness of the student or other serious life circumstances.

Students will remain eligible for financial aid, but on financial aid probation, during the appeal review.

Financial Aid Probation

Students who have appealed their SAP status, and have the appeal approved, will be placed on financial aid probation and allowed one additional payment of financial aid during the academic year. Students MUST show improvement in coursework and progression, as defined by the Student Progress Committee, in order to continue receiving financial aid.

Student Appeals Summary

Actions which can be appealed

Basis of appeals

Standards of appeal

Original Decision Maker

Notification of intent to appeal

Review of appeal

Secondary review of appeal

Grade and Narrative Comments

Failing Grades, and narrative evaluation comments, regardless of grade

No appeals of Pass, High Pass, or Honors grades

Course or Clerkship Director

Course or Clerkship Director

Medical Student Progress Committee

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education

Professional -ism and Code of Conduct findings

Ad Hoc Professional-ism Committee's decision; Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education corrective actions

  1. Decision based on information outside of investigation
  2. Decision based on unreasonable standard
  3. Decision based using unreasonable/ unannounced change from the Code of Conduct and Professional Responsibility.

Ad Hoc Professional-ism Committee to Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education

Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions

Medical Student Progress Committee

No further appeals

Academic Actions

Actions by the Medical Student Progress Committee

  1. New information is available.
  2. Decision based on unreasonable standard
  3. Procedural error during the Committee's review

Medical Student Progress Committee

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education

Vice Deans decision is final in all cases EXCEPT dismissal from medical school

Dean, School of Medicine is the final appeal ONLY for dismissal from medical school

             

Actions which can be appealed

Basis of appeals

Standards of appeal

Original Decision Maker

Notification of intent to appeal

Review of appeal

Secondary review of appeal

Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) for Financial Aid

Extenuating circumstance leading to failure to meet SAP requirement

  1. New information is available.
  2. Decision based on unreasonable standard
  3. Procedural error during the Committee's review

Medical Student Progress Committee

Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and Education

Vice Deans decision is final

Not applicable

Policy on International Experiences

Medical students who wish to complete an international elective must submit an application to the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions for review. Students must:

  1. Be in good academic standing
  2. Must have completed all requirements for Phases 1 and 2, including any required remediation.

General Guidelines

  1. Students are only permitted to participate in International Electives during Phase 3 of the curriculum.
  2. Students are limited to a total of 4 weeks of International Electives during Phase 3 of the curriculum.
  3. Students must have completed all required components of the USMLE examinations (as described in Section 7 of the Student Handbook) prior to participation in any International elective experience.
  4. Students will not be permitted to do an International Elective during Block 12 (month of March) during Phase 3.
  5. Students will not be permitted to do an International Elective during the Capstone Block of Phase 3.

Application Requirements

All International clinical experiences outside of the UNLV School of Medicine must be sponsored by, and listed in the course catalog of an LCME accredited medical school.

Additional Requirements

  1. Students must submit information describing potential political, health or safety concerns which may place an individual student at risk. The Centers for Disease Control and U.S. State Department information for individual countries must be included with the application for an International Elective.
  2. Students must provide documentation of having obtained evacuation and repatriation insurance prior to approval of the International Elective
  3. Students must provide Emergency Contact Information for US and for the foreign country prior to approval of the International Elective.
  4. Students must provide documentation of having contacted a physician for travel and immunizations, which are recommended or required prior to travel. The student is responsible for the cost of all immunizations required.
  5. The student must report to, and register with, the US Embassy immediately upon arrival in the foreign country.
  6. Any additional malpractice insurance required for participation in the International Elective must be obtained prior to approval of the elective.

Policy for Student Access to Records

Any student wishing to review his/her records must submit a written request to the registrar of the school of medicine. Students are permitted to review all components of their records. All requests will be logged into a secure system to document the date and time of the request as well as when the student was provided access to his/her record. It is expected that students would be permitted to review their records at the time of the initial request. Students are not permitted to remove any records from the registrar’s file, nor is a student permitted to alter records in any manner. Students will be permitted to review the records only in the office of the registrar. Students may not photograph or photocopy their records.

In the event that a student wishes to challenge a component of his/her educational file, he/she must indicate in writing, the specific component of his/her file that is being challenged and provide rationale and supporting documentation to substantiate that a component of the educational file is factually inaccurate. The challenge will be reviewed by the Vice Dean for Academic Affairs who will communicate directly with the individual student. In the event that a challenge is not upheld, the student will be permitted to submit a rebuttal which will be included in the educational file.