Policy on

Grade Appeals in Second 100 Weeks

It is the right and responsibility of the faculty and specifically the clerkship directors in the Second 100 Weeks to determine student grades at Zucker School of Medicine. The clerkship director's right to determine grades assigned in their clerkship shall be abrogated only if it is demonstrated, through the process below, that the subcomponent grade was not based on the student's academic and professional performance. Subcomponent grades are defined as the elements that contribute to the overall grade in a clerkship. Subcomponents include, but are not limited to: NBME Subject Exam, Clinical Skills Exam, Clinical Assessment of Student, ACE Rounds, and Write-ups.

Concerns related to personality conflicts or malice should be brought forth as early as possible but at a minimum prior to the posting of a subcomponent grade or final grade in a clerkship (whichever comes sooner) to ensure a fair and expeditious investigation. If a student is aware of such concerns within the above timeframe but does not bring the concerns forward until after the subcomponent grade or final grade in a clerkship has been posted, the delay may be held against the student in considering the appeal. An appeal based on unforeseeable personal circumstances may be considered only in extreme cases.

Appeal to the Grade Appeal Committee

A student must submit a Grade Appeal Form specific to the subcomponent grade being appealed in writing within ten (10) business days of the posting of the subcomponent grade. In the case of the appeal of a reassessment, the student must submit their appeal within three (3) business days of the posting of the reassessment grade. The grade appeal committee, composed of clerkship directors outside of the discipline of the subcomponent being appealed, will review the appeal in a de-identified manner and will determine if the appeal meets criteria for further investigation. If it is concluded that the appeal should advance, it will be directed to the appropriate clerkship director(s) or faculty members from within the discipline of the subcomponent being appealed. The designated clerkship director(s) or faculty member will further investigate the appeal and will reach a conclusion, which will be documented on the Grade Appeal Form. If the appeal suggests the possibility of mistreatment, the appeal shall be investigated via the procedures outlined in the Policy on the Appropriate Treatment of Learners, the results of which will be returned to the grade appeal committee.

A faculty member will recuse themself from any part of the process should a known conflict of interest exist. The completed Grade Appeal Form shall convey the explanation for the decision to the student. It is expected that the grade appeal will be resolved through this process.

Appeal to the Senior Associate Dean

A student has the right to appeal the decision of the clerkship director(s). The appeal must be submitted, in writing, to the Senior Associate Dean for Education or their designee, within five (5) business days of receipt of the decision from the clerkship director. The Senior Associate Dean for Education shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from and/or speak to the clerkship director(s) and/or the student. If the Senior Associate Dean for Education requests to meet with the student, the student may have an adviser of their choice present, but that adviser must remain silent while in the presence of the Senior Associate Dean for Education.

The Senior Associate Dean for Education may elect to:

  1. Take no action, allowing the grade appeal committee’s decision to stand;
  2. Modify the decision of the grade appeal committee; or
  3. Empanel an ad hoc appeals committee to investigate the appeal and make a recommendation.

Procedure for Ad Hoc Appeals Committee

If the Senior Associate Dean for Education elects to empanel an ad hoc appeals committee, it shall be composed of up to five (5) faculty members who have no role in the determination of the student’s grade in question. The committee shall have the authority to investigate the matter fully and to request material from the student and clerkship director(s). The charge of the ad hoc appeals committee is to determine if due diligence was followed and a reasonable course of action was taken by the clerkship director(s), and not to re-grade the student. The ad hoc appeals committee shall proceed from the assumption that the subcomponent grade was justified and the burden of proof (that due diligence was not followed and/or a reasonable course of action was not taken) shall lie with the student. The student will be given an opportunity to present their argument and answer questions of the ad hoc appeals committee in person. The student may have an adviser of their choice present at the meeting with the ad hoc appeals committee, but that adviser must remain silent while in the presence of the committee. The ad hoc appeals committee will submit a recommendation, in writing, to the Senior Associate Dean for Education. In all cases, the Senior Associate Dean for Education’s decision must be conveyed, in writing, to the student and clerkship director(s) director. The Senior Associate Dean for Education’s decision in all such matters is final.

References to Regulations and/or Related Policies:
LCME Element 11.6: Student Access to Educational Records
Policies on Grading
Policy on the Appropriate Treatment of Learners

 

Last Updated: November 2020