Georgetown University School of Medicine Policies and Procedures

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Note: For a more complete set of student policies and procedures for the School of Medicine, refer to the Student Handbook. 

Student Records Policy

In compliance with federal law, the Medical Center has implemented policies and procedures designed to preserve the confidentiality of a student’s academic records. Unless required by law to do so, the Medical Center will not release a student’s records without the student’s written permission. The policies governing the release of a student’s academic records, and the circumstances under which such records will be released without the student’s written permission may be obtained from the Registrar’s office. 

Examinations and Promotions 

In preclinical years, examinations in all courses are held at regularly scheduled periods. Written and/or oral examinations are scheduled in third or fourth-year clerkships. For the preclinical curriculum, all courses and modules employ a pass/fail grading system. For the clinical curriculum, we employ an Honors, High Pass, Pass and Fail grading system. 

The Committee on Students of the Executive Faculty selects those students demonstrating a consistent record of honors performance to be graduated cum laude, magna cum laude or summa cum laude. 

The Committee on Students also reviews the case will of each student who receives Fail grades in any subject and makes decisions according to the following guidelines:

Any student receiving a failure in one course is dropped from the rolls of the school. However, at the discretion of the appropriate department chair and the Committee on Students, a student may be given the opportunity of correcting the defect at the end of the academic year, but prior to registration for the following year. A student who fails to satisfactorily correct the deficiency is dropped from the rolls of the school.

Any student with two or more failures in one academic year is dropped from the rolls of the school.

All courses, including electives, are considered of equivalent value. 
The Committee on Students may at its discretion authorize (a) a student who has incurred course failures to retake courses while reclassified as a special student, or (b) a student who has incurred a clerkship failure to perform a remedial clerkship. Only one period of special student status is permitted. A failure in a course retaken as a special student, or a failure in remedial clerkship results in an automatic permanent drop from the school. 

Any student whose work quality, conduct, or physical or mental health renders him or her unqualified to enter the medical profession may be dropped from the rolls of the school at the discretion of the Committee on Students. When such a question is raised, it must be presented in writing to the Dean by a member of the faculty or the student body. The following action is then taken: 

The Dean or representatives of the Dean discussed the letter with the student.

The Dean then presents the matter to the Committee on Students. 
When indicated, the Committee on Students requires the student to undergo physical and/or psychiatric evaluation by appropriate physicians.

The results of these evaluations are made available to the student and referred for action to the Committee on Students.

Students who are in danger of being dropped from the rolls of the school or being denied permission to return from leave may appear before the Committee on Students. Should the Committee decide adversely, the student may appeal through the school’s Committee on Student Appeals. 

Leave of Absence 

Students may be granted a leave of absence for educational, medical (including maternity), or compelling personal reasons. Requests for leave must be made through one of the Associate Deans to the Committee on Students. Severe physical or mental illness is considered grounds for a required medical leave of absence, which is granted by the Committee on Students. 

A student who desires to return from leave must apply in writing through one of the Associate Deans to the Committee on Students. The student must be evaluated academically by the appropriate departments and medically if deemed appropriate. The information must be made available to the Committee on Students before a request for reinstatement is considered.

Accordingly, at least two months before the beginning of the next academic year, a student on leave of absence must apply for reinstatement in the school or request to extend such leave for an additional year. A student who fails to request either option, in accordance with the terms of the leave, is dropped from the rolls of the school. 

Under ordinary circumstances, a leave of absence is not extended for more than a second year. If a student is granted an extension for a second year, s/he must again apply and be evaluated for reinstatement at least two months prior to the beginning of the next academic year. Failing to do so will result in being dropped from the rolls of the school. 

The Dean or Associate Dean may put a student on emergency administrative leave until the next meeting of the Committee on Students. A student whose behavior arouses serious concern may be required to submit an appropriate immediate laboratory testing. Refusal to undergo these evaluations will result in being dropped from the rolls of the school. 

Tuition Refund Policy for Withdrawal or Leave of Absence 

A student desiring to withdraw or go on a leave of absence from the School of Medicine must give notice in writing to the Dean or Associate Dean. When the withdrawal or the leave of absence from the school becomes official, credits or refunds for tuition are given at the beginning of each semester in accordance with the following schedule which is in accordance with the 1992 Amendments to the Higher Education Act. 

Refund Schedule:

  1. During the first and second week of classes, 100% credit will be issued. 
  2. During the third and fourth weeks of classes, 80% credit will be issued. 
  3. During the fifth or sixth weeks of classes, 70% credit will be issued. 
  4. During the seventh or eighth weeks of classes, 50% credit will be issued. 
  5. During the ninth week of classes, 40% credit will be issued. 
  6. After the ninth week of classes, NO credit will be issued.

The Deans of the School of Medicine or the Registrar will determine which resolve questions with regard to the above schedule for calculating credits or refunds. Credit or refunds are calculated by semester, not by the quarter, block, or rotation, and are for tuition only (i.e., does not include health insurance and disability insurance). 
* Less a $100 processing fee. 

Requirements for Graduation 

For graduation, students must have: shown good moral character; completed the required work; passed all prescribed examinations; be free from indebtedness to the school; attend financial aid exit interviews if loans were received; and be approved for graduation by the Executive Faculty. Students are required to be present to receive their diplomas unless excused by the Dean. 

National Board Examinations: Students are required to take the United States Medical Licensing Examination (USMLE) Step I and have a passing score reported to the School as a prerequisite to being promoted to the third year. In general, scores will not be reported to others. This policy as are all school policies is subject to review by the Academic Dean and the Executive Faculty. 

Registration Re-entry 

Re-entering Students: When students are permitted to return to School from the leave of absence or to switch status from regular to a special student or vice versa, such permissions are granted on the condition that all prior financial obligations to Georgetown University are paid in full. 

Teacher-Learner Relationship

Behaviors that undermine the efficacy of the teacher-learner relationship fall into three broad categories: abuse, harassment, and discrimination. 

  • Abuse: For the purposes of this policy, abuse is defined as intentional behavior that may be reasonably expected to cause either emotional or physical harm or that is inconsistent with the objectives of GeorgetownUniversity School of Medicine’s educational program leading to the M.D. degree or of the individual courses/modules and clerkships that are the constituent components of the curriculum. Examples include but are not limited to the following:
    • An inappropriate or unprofessional criticism that is primarily intended to belittle, embarrass, or humiliate a student; 
    • Requiring a student to perform menial tasks with the intent of humiliating or degrading the student; or
    • Asking a student to perform personal services. 
  • Harassment: Whether verbal or physical in nature, harassment refers to behaviors that are offensive, hostile or intimidating. Such behaviors are often accompanied by an implicit or explicit demand for submission as a condition of one’s continued education, training, or employment. Such is the case with some forms of sexual harassment. The School of Medicine follows the University’s Policy Statement on Harassment which can be found online.
    Students who feel they have experienced any type of sexual harassment or mistreatment will be referred to the Deputy Title IX Coordinator to complete the investigation.  In all instances of sexual mistreatment, students should refer to the Grievance Procedures to Investigate Allegations of Sexual Misconduct, Appendix D of the School of Medicine Student Handbook. 
  • Discrimination: Discrimination encompasses behaviors, decisions, actions, policies and practices that adversely affect students through disparate treatment on the basis of age, color, disability, family responsibilities, familial status, gender identity or expression, marital status, national origin, personal appearance, political affiliation, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income or any other factor prohibited by law. Students who believe that they have been subject to harassment or discrimination should contact the Georgetown University Office of Institutional Diversity, Equity, and Affirmative Action (IDEAA), G-10Darnall Hall, 37th and O Streets, NW, phone: 202-687-4798. 

Georgetown University provides educational opportunities without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, age, color, disability, family responsibilities,familial status, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status,national origin, personal appearance, political affiliation, race, religion, sex,sexual orientation, source of income, veteran’s status or any other factors prohibited by law in its educational programs and activities.  Inquiries regarding Georgetown University’s non-discrimination policy may be addressed to Institutional Diversity, Equity & Affirmative Action, 37th and O Sts., N.W., SuiteM36, Darnall Hall, Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 20057.

No Smoking Policy

Smoking or carrying any burning cigarettes, cigars or pipes is prohibited within and around Georgetown University Medical Center owned or leased buildings, grounds, and vehicles.
Specifically, smoking is prohibited at all times inside all GUMC buildings and within 25 feet of the exterior of GUMC buildings and grounds, including plazas, gardens, mezzanines, podiums, sidewalks, parking lots, garages, and driveways.

Smoking is not permitted within GUMC owned vehicles wherever they may be located and in privately owned vehicles located on GUMC owned and/or leased property.

Computer Systems Acceptable Use 

The Georgetown University community is encouraged to make innovative and creative use of information technologies in support of education and research. Access to information representing a multitude of views on current and historical issues is allowed for the interest, information, and enlightenment of the Georgetown University community. Consistent with other University policies, this policy is intended to respect the rights and obligations of academic freedom. The University recognizes that the purpose of copyright is to protect the rights of the creators of intellectual property and to prevent the unauthorized use or sale of works available in the private sector. Also consistent with other University policies, an individual’s right of access to information technology resources and materials should not be denied or abridged because of race, creed, color, age, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.

Policy on Social Media

Georgetown University computing and network resources are to be used only for University-related research, instruction, learning, enrichment, dissemination of scholarly information, and administrative activities. The computing and network facilities of the University are limited and should be used wisely and carefully with consideration for the needs of others. Computers and network systems offer powerful tools for communications, education, and research among members of the University community and communities outside the University. When used appropriately, these tools can enhance dialog and communications. When used unlawfully or inappropriately, however, these tools can infringe on the beliefs or rights of others.

Social media is defined as technology and online spaces for integrating and sharing content and communications.  Examples include but are not limited to:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogs
  • Linked-In
  • YouTube
  • Text messages
  • Media Messaging Services (MNS)
  • Wikis. Personal and Organizational Websites (i.e. content that is hosted internally and protected byGUNetID and Password)

Guidelines and requirements outlined in this policy are applicable to both personal and School ofMedicine sponsored social networking media.

  • Language or images that are illegal, obscene, defamatory, threatening, infringing of intellectual property rights, invasive of privacy, profane, libelous, harassing, abusive, and or hateful or that materially or substantially disruptions the medical school environment is prohibited.
  • HIPAA rules and regulations apply to social media outlets and patient privacy should be maintained at all costs.  Disclosing information about patients or their family members without written permission, including photographs or potentially identifiable information is strictly prohibited.  These rules apply to deceased patients as well as living and posts that are public as well as private to only a secured network of friends.  Refrain from communicating in any manner that could in any way identify a patient – even accidentally.  Patients with rare diagnoses, unusual physical appearances or in a specific location within the community may be easily identifiable even in the absence of names and medical records.
  • Respect the copyright and intellectual property of others and the University.  Do not use copyrighted material without permission.  Reference sources appropriately.
  • Understand your responsibility and liability.  Take great care and be thoughtful before placing any comments in the public domain as these will be permanently attached to you. Remember that all content contributed on all platforms becomes immediately searchable and can be easily shared.  This includes ensuring that you are not “tagged” in images posted by others that might be seen as portraying you in an unprofessional manner.
  • Social Media platforms are public.  There is no such thing as a private social media site.  That said, students are encouraged to pay close attention to privacy settings on all of their social media accounts.
  • Students should take precautions about interactions with others in their social media networks.  No interaction should occur if there is a physician-patient relationship or a similar relationship.