VCOM College Catalog and Student Handbook
Applicants or students who have mental impairments that cannot be resolved with treatment and result in significant mental impairment that renders the student to be lacking in the required mental capacity to maintain safety, without substantial supervision, for patient care, are not eligible for admission or continued enrollment. The student must have cognitive, interpersonal and social capacity for the vocational effectiveness required for medical practice. VCOM considers impairment from addiction to be a serious mental illness. Impaired physicians from substance abuse have unpredictable incapacitation of mental judgement, alertness, and emotional stability, resulting in a risk to patients for receiving unsafe medical care. Substance abuse that effects mental capacity and reasoning are cause for not accepting and/or dismissing a student in order to protect patients. Students found to be using illegal or illicit drugs will be dismissed for unprofessional behavior. Any evidence of addiction to prescription, illicit, or illegal drugs will be considered a risk to patients and the student will be required to be evaluated immediately and be subject to any or all of the following: suspension, dismissal, or unplanned leave for treatment at the discretion of the Campus Dean. The college maintains the right to convene an Individual Assessment Committee to determine whether the applicant or student poses a danger to self or others. Such an evaluation may require an independent forensic evaluation of the student by a psychiatrist and other psychological health providers. Mental health capacity must be such that an emotional support animal is not needed in order to participate in the curriculum or provide medical care. VI. Professional and Ethical Attributes Students must demonstrate the capacity to make professional and ethical decisions expected of a medical professional at all times to be successful in the curriculum and to effectively and safely care for patients. This requires students to demonstrate careful and safe decision making at all times, to be free from addiction, to discriminate between legal and illegal behaviors, to make moral rather than immoral decisions, to make ethical rather than unethical decisions, and to demonstrate professional rather than unprofessional behaviors. Professional and ethical attributes are those expected of a physician by all of society and are generally required by state medical licensing boards. These attributes are those that instill a sense of trust by patients in the medical community. Students who perform in an unethical or unprofessional manner are subject to dismissal. VII. Physical Health and Chronic Disease Students must be in reasonable health to complete the physical requirements of the curriculum, including the physical requirements required to participate in the anatomy laboratory, microbiology laboratory, osteopathic manipulative medicine laboratories, simulation laboratories, in all patient care environments, and other environments required to complete the curriculum. The safety of the patients cared for by students must take priority over the student’s priorities, just as the health of patients cared for by a physician takes priority. Students with communicable diseases, such as Hepatitis C and HIV, will be restricted from certain learning environments. The college follows the CDC guidelines for patient care in making these determinations. Students with any chronic medical conditions should be aware that they may not be accommodated to participate in all clinical settings if such accommodations are believed to place the patient at risk. Students should also be aware that information regarding their immunization and health status and communicable diseases will be provided to the clinical sites where they will participate in patient care. The clinical sites will keep the student’s health information as confidential as possible while protecting the health of the patient. Requirements for students with communicable diseases are provided by the Office of Clinical Affairs and are updated annually according to CDC guidelines.
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