The View from the Dean’s Office
It is the role of a medical school student affairs dean to balance the responsibilities of advocating for students with upholding the integrity of the curricular program. This work is especially challenging when dealing with students who are struggling and require remediation. Given her diverse portfolio of responsibilities as dean for student affairs, which includes overseeing the academic progress of students, disciplinary process, mentoring and advising, student health and wellness programs, international health program, student life, and chairing of an executive committee for admissions, she is often the first one to identify and intervene with a struggling student. In addition to working with students and faculty to identify the underlying causes of a student’s problem, the dean’s office needs to be concerned about resource availability for and cost of remediation, legal and privacy issues, the implications of labeling students, the definition of the official written record, and final competency decisions. In this chapter, the author discusses the resources needed for remediation, their costs, and resources currently not available. This experienced student affairs dean shares her experience reviewing admission information, discusses preadmission factors that may portend the need for remedial assistance once in medical school, and offers NYU School of Medicine technical standards as an example. She discusses her approach to counseling students regarding how to communicate their remediation history to future training directors and employers. She thereby demonstrates how it is possible to balance the school’s interests with obligations to students, faculty, and society.
KeywordsMedical School Autism Spectrum Disorder Medical Student Student Affair Expert Faculty
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