Satisfactory Academic Progress - Medicine

PURPOSE: To establish rules and regulations governing satisfactory academic progress of UCSF medical students.

ACCOUNTABITY: Under the School of Medicine Faculty Council, and with the assistance of the Undergraduate Medical Education unit and the Registrar, the Screening and Promotions Committee is charged with the responsibility for reviewing the satisfactory academic progress of all medical students matriculated at the UCSF School of Medicine.

APPLICIABLITY: This policy shall apply to all medical students who matriculate at UCSF School of Medicine before July 1, 2013. An updated policy will be in place that shall apply to all students who matriculate at UCSF School of Medicine on or after July 1, 2013.

REFERENCES:

SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS (SAP)

Satisfactory Academic Progress is the appropriate successful completion of degree requirements according to established increments that lead to degree completion within published completion limits. Sound academic principles require that students be required to maintain standards of satisfactory academic progress. Students who fail to maintain satisfactory academic progress during any established increment may be placed on financial aid warning or financial aid probation, an academic plan, and/or dismissed. Students who are placed on financial aid warning, financial aid probation, an academic plan, and/or dismissed will be informed of their status in writing. All students are reviewed after each Essential Core Block as MS1s (five times) and MS2s (three times) and after each Clinical Core Block as MS3s and MS4s (six times each).

Students are allowed one term of financial aid warning. If a student is not making satisfactory academic progress at the end of the term in which a warning was placed, they can be placed on financial aid probation. Eligibility for continued financial aid under probation will be measured in accordance with the established academic plan.
 

QUALITATIVE STANDARDS: ACADEMIC PROBATION and FINANCIAL AID WARNING AND PROBATION

A student may be placed on academic probation (See Regulations of the School of Medicine) and given a financial aid warning or financial aid probation if he/she has 6 or more units of E (a provisional non-passing grade) in any quarter or 10 or more units of E or F in 3 consecutive quarters. A student may be removed from academic probation following removal of all E or F grades and one subsequent quarter of satisfactory performance.

A student may also be placed on academic probation and given a financial aid warning or financial aid probation if he/she cannot demonstrate adequate professional and personal attributes both within and outside the boundaries of a course or clerkship. Such attributes are known as “physicianship” and a Physicianship Evaluation Form indicates that a student has not reached the expected competency. Students who receive two or more Physicianship Evaluation Forms in the first two years and subsequently receive a Physicianship Evaluation Form in the third and fourth years, or two or more Physicianship Evaluation Forms in the third and fourth years may be placed on academic probation (For details see the Physicianship Evaluation Forms and Policies at http://meded.ucsf.edu/ume/physicianship-evaluation-forms-and-policies.) Our competency-based promotion standards require that physicianship evaluations and any probation resulting from them constitutes a form of academic probation and associated financial aid warnings and/or financial aid probations will be issued.
 

MINIMUM UNITS PER QUARTER

The School of Medicine Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy requires that all students are registered for a minimum of 12 units per quarter. In exceptional situations – including quarters that fit only one nine-unit core clerkship, in the spring quarter of the graduation year when students finish in mid-May, and in situations approved by the Associate Dean of Curriculum – students may register for fewer units.
 

COMPETENCY REQUIREMENTS

Upon graduation, students are required to have demonstrated competence in all of the MD Program Objectives. For each domain, a set of milestones defines the expected progress throughout medical school toward achieving competence. See http://meded.ucsf.edu/ume/md-program-objectives for details.
 

UNIT REQUIREMENTS FOR GRADUATION

Students must complete a total of 239 units with a passing grade, including all required courses prescribed in the curriculum of the UCSF School of Medicine, and must be registered in the quarter of graduation from the School of Medicine. At the end of the Essential Core, the first 18 months of the curriculum, students will have accrued a minimum 97 units. To progress to the Clinical Core, students must pass USMLE Step 1. At the end of the Clinical Core, the next 12 months of the curriculum, students will have accrued 76 more units. At the end of the Advanced Studies series in the fourth year, students will have accrued a minimum of 60 more units. Students must complete 6 more units of elective work either during the Essential Core or during the Advanced Studies series. MSTP students have different Advanced Studies requirements for 36 units of elective clinical work and three units of Coda. Students in the Joint Medical Program with UC Berkeley have a different set of unit requirements consisting of 3 years at UC Berkeley plus the 76 units of the Clinical Core and the 60 units of the Advanced Studies series. See http://meded.ucsf.edu/ume/graduation-requirements for details.
 

USMLE AND ACADEMIC PROGRESS

In addition, a student must satisfactorily complete the USMLE Step 1 within three attempts. Students will not be promoted to third year without having passed USMLE Step1. Students must pass USMLE Step 2CK and 2CS as specified in the UCSF SOM USMLE Policy to make satisfactory academic progress. If each of these exams is not passed within the maximum number of attempts, the student is not making satisfactory academic progress. A student who has not passed Step 2CK and/or CS by the expected graduation date but has completed all of the graduation requirements will not be eligible for financial aid.
 

MAXIMUM TIME FRAME AND PACE

The MD program is a four-year curriculum, however, due to academic or personal difficulties; a student may require additional time. For students with academic or personal difficulties, an academic plan may be established for the student that departs from the standard curriculum and that may require the repetition of all or a part of a year of study (i.e., subsequent to incomplete or unsatisfactory course work or approved leave). To be making satisfactory academic progress, students ordinarily must complete the first two years of the curriculum by the end of the third year after initial enrollment; the remaining requirements of the curriculum ordinarily must be completed by the end of the fifth year after initial enrollment. Requests for exceptions are subject to review by the Associate Dean for Curriculum. A student is eligible for university-funded financial aid for a maximum of 14 quarters of enrollment excluding time spent on approved leave of absence. The maximum time permitted for completion of the MD degree is six years.
 

Special Programs

Students in the Joint Medical Program with UC Berkeley have a five-year core curriculum, so the maximum time frame for satisfactory academic progress is 7 years for those students. Students in the Medical Student Training Program (MSTP) are subject to the same maximum time frame and pace rules during the time that that are in the MD component of the MD/PhD program. During the time they are in the graduate component of their MD/PhD program, they are subject to the time frame and pace requirements of their graduate program.

For Students Matriculated Before July 1, 2013

Students in the Pathways to Discovery may enroll for one year in the graduate division to complete work in a Pathway to Discovery. This year does NOT count toward the six-year maximum time permitted for completion of the MD Degree.

For Students Matriculated on or after July 1, 2013

The time that students to complete work in a Pathway to Discovery in any program or on leave does count toward the six-year maximum time permitted for completion of the MD degree.
 

SAP AND LEAVES OF ABSENCE

A student may be granted a personal or medical leave of absence for a variety of reasons.

For Students Matriculated Before July 1, 2013 

Students in the Pathways to Discovery may enroll for one year in the graduate division to complete work in a Pathway to Discovery. This year does NOT count toward the six-year maximum time permitted for completion of the MD Degree.

For Students Matriculated on or after July 1, 2013

The time that students take to complete work in a Pathway to Discovery in any program or on leave DOES count toward the six-year maximum time permitted for completion of the MD degree.
 

NOTIFICATION OF LACK OF SATISFACTORY ACADEMIC PROGRESS

During the periodic review of a student’s SAP by the Screening and Promotions Committee, progression to the next block, quarter, or year is based upon a review of grades - including incomplete, provisional non-passing, and failing grades - and other educational metrics. Any student who has not achieved a minimum of passing grades in all courses and clerkships cannot progress to the next year. Any student not making satisfactory academic progress receives a letter from the Screening and Promotions Committee with a copy sent to UCSF Student Financial Aid. The letter shall indicate the nature of the deficiency and consequences that have resulted or may result such as academic probation, financial aid warning, financial aid probation, faculty-mandated leave of absence, required remediation, repetition of courses or clerkships, and/or a recommendation for dismissal.
 

DISMISSAL OR WITHDRAWAL

Students who are dismissed, withdrawn, or discontinued from the School are not making satisfactory academic progress and are not eligible to receive financial aid.
 

APPEALS

Students who wish to appeal for reinstatement of financial aid eligibility may do so in writing in accordance with the appeal mechanism set forth in Appendix VII of the Academic Senate Bylaws, the Divisional Procedure for Student Grievance in Academic Affairs at http://senate.ucsf.edu/0-bylaws/stugr.html.

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