Policies and Procedures
Criminal Background Checks
The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine has adopted the endorsement from the Association of American Medical Colleges regarding criminal background checks on all accepted applicants. The AAMC endorsement is as follows:
"The AAMC recommends that medical schools require criminal background checks on all accepted applicants. The association believes taking this action will enhance patient health and safety, facilitate student access to affiliated clinical facilities, ensure eligibility for licensure, and guarantee school involvement in decisions about the content and processes of these checks."
Complete information is available at The AAMC-facilitated Criminal Background Check Service
In keeping with this endorsement, the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine requires criminal background checks on all accepted BS-MD applicants by June 1 of the year of matriculation to medical school and reserves the right to withdraw an acceptance based on the results of the criminal background check. The background checks will be done at the students' expense.
BS-MD students should refer to their undergraduate institution handbook and student policies and procedures for other governing processes.
Students are governed by the rules and regulations of the School of Medicine, the Nevada System of Higher Education and the students' undergraduate institution. Students are responsible for familiarizing themselves with the regulations affecting them. For further information, see the University of Nevada System Code. This handbook contains only basic information, not all rules and regulations have been listed in their entirety. Standards are set by the faculty and decisions regarding achievement of standards will be determined by the faculty, Office of Recruitment and Student Affairs, and the Deans of the medical school and the student's undergraduate institution.
As undergraduate students and future physicians, BS-MD students have a responsibility to guide their actions to serve the best interests of their patients. This responsibility is upheld by maintaining the highest degree of personal and professional integrity. With this in mind, the following standards are expected of all BS-MD students at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine and failure to abide by these rules and responsibilities may result in dismissal from the program. Students shall not engage in any activities prohibited by the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Code 6.2.2 Chapter 6 (beginning on Page 5).
In addition, students in the BS-MD program shall:
- Assume personal responsibility for their education
- Respect questions from fellow students
- Answer questions posed by faculty members
- Present an appropriate personal appearance consistent with the classroom or clinical setting
- Display an interest in working with others.
- Complete course and faculty evaluations
- As appropriate, take an active role in the planning, implementation and evaluation of the medical education process
- Demonstrate a commitment to excellence on all assignments (i.e. always do your best)
- Never falsify information or misrepresent a situation
- Not participate in patient care under the influence of substances which could impair their performance and judgment
- Clearly identify their role as students in the patient care setting
- Respect civil laws, hospital regulations and university rules governing the conduct of medical students
- Care for themselves physically and mentally and seek help in this regard when needed
- Maintain current immunizations
During the undergraduate portion of the BS-MD program, students are expected to follow faculty attendance requirements for each course.
Medical College Admission Test (MCAT)
Students admitted to the BS-MD Accelerated Degree Program (BS-MD Program) at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine are required to successfully achieve the required minimum score on the Medical College Admissions Test (MCAT) in order to be promoted to the MD portion of the program. This policy is in place to ensure that defined standards are met with regard to BS-MD student performance on the MCAT and to outline the procedures involved if standards are not met.
- All students in the BS-MD Program are required to take and achieve the required minimum score on the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT) to matriculate into the School of Medicine. Minimum passing scores are set by the School of Medicine Admission Executive Committee for BS-MD students and will be communicated to students annually.
- Students may take the MCAT a total of three times in the BS-MD program to achieve the minimum criteria. Prior to matriculation to medical school, BS-MD students are required to provide a passing score no later than May 1. Students who are unable to provide a passing score by May 1 of the year of matriculation, regardless of the number of MCAT attempts, he/she will not be eligible for promotion to the MD program.
- BS-MD students must take their first MCAT exam no later than July 30 of the year prior to beginning the MD portion of the program.
- Students who require a third attempt will no longer possess a guaranteed/reserved seat within the medical school's matriculate pool, but may be eligible for an alternate position in the incoming class and will also be eligible for admissions selection through the traditional process.
- Students who do not achieve the minimum required MCAT score upon the third MCAT attempt will be dismissed from the BS-MD Program.
- Students who withdraw or are dismissed from the BS-MD Program are still eligible to apply to the School of Medicine as traditional applicants.
- Any voided exam is grounds for dismissal.
Student Progress and Development
Marginal performance in undergraduate coursework: Marginal academic performance in undergraduate coursework is defined as a final course grade of C+ or below.
- Any student who receives a marginal grade in a course is required to meet with the course instructor to identify the basis for the marginal performance.
- The student must work with the course instructor to develop a plan to remediate any performance below at or below this marginal performance standard.
- If a BS-MD student receives a C+ or below in any one or more courses, action will be taken by the School of Medicine.
- The student must meet with the course instructor and the BS-MD program director or coordinator to develop a written plan for improving performance. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate with instructors and BS-MD program staff and faculty, as required.
- Administrative action may be taken if a BS-MD student's semester, overall GPA or science GPA falls below the required 3.5. Administrative action may include:
- Close monitoring of future academic performance;
- Requirements for specific remedial course of study or testing with documentation of satisfactory performance;
- Repetition of one or more courses with documentation of satisfactory performance;
- Recommendation for dismissal from the BS-MD program.
If a student is non-responsive or chooses not to attend appropriate meetings, dismissal from the program may result.
Academic Review and Promotions Committee is an Ad Hoc committee made up of:
- Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs and the Assistant Dean for Admissions - School of Medicine
- Undergraduate Advisor
- One School of Medicine faculty member who is a member of the School of Medicine Admissions Committee
- One School of Medicine faculty member who is a member of the School of Medicine Student Promotions and Progress Committee.
Ex-officio members: BS-MD Program Director; BS-MD Program Coordinators for each medical school campus.
Student Conduct Criteria: In addition to evaluation of academic performance, BS-MD students are also expected to conduct themselves professionally. Behavior problems that can lead to a review of student status in the program include academic dishonesty, breaches of patient/clinical confidentiality, and other documented breaches of professionalism. The Academic Review and Promotions Committee of the School of Medicine determines the appropriate professional characteristics required for medical students and future physicians. Students who breach this student conduct criteria will be subject to the same procedures described below for academic remediation.
Academic Probation: Students may be placed on academic probation for a minimum of one semester and a maximum of 2 semesters. Students will be evaluated at the end of the first probationary semester. If, after two probationary semesters, a student is still below the minimum required GPA, he or she may be dismissed from the program.
Students learn at varying rates and through different study techniques, and thus the School of Medicine considers each case on an individual basis. The SOM chooses not to establish a definitive number of marginal grades to constitute a dismissal recommendation. Allowing the SOM judgment in weighing all aspects of the student's performance and extenuating circumstances provides the Academic Review and Promotions Committee with appropriate latitude for considering a variety of remediation options to support the student's continuation in the program.
Students are treated as adult learners. Input from students on how they learn and what remedial course of action may work best for them is important to the SOM deliberations.
Probation and Remediation Process
BS-MD students may be placed on academic probation after review by Academic Review and Promotions Committee. Students will receive written notification of probation and remediation requirements.
Students may appeal placement on probation and remediation requirements only if arbitrary and capricious. Arbitrary and capricious is defined as decisions which do not follow policies as detailed in this handbook.
Dismissal from the Program
If a student does not meet, or successfully complete, the remediation requirements, a recommendation up to and including dismissal will be made to the BS-MD Academic Review and Promotions Committee.
Students will be required to attend a meeting of the Committee and may invite an advocate to attend the meeting with them. Students will need to be prepared to discuss their remediation efforts. The Committee will review student academic records and other information pertinent to the remediation plan and causes of academic probation. The Committee will issue its decision within 14 days, in writing, to the student.
Students may appeal dismissal decisions of the Committee to Deans of both the student's undergraduate major college and the School of Medicine. Decisions by the two Deans are considered final. Appeals must be sent in writing to the Committee within 14 days after the student has received the written Committee decision.
Promotion to Medical School
Commitment to Attend the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine: Students who accept and matriculate to the BS-MD program at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, with all undergraduate partners, agree that they will attend the School of Medicine and will not apply to other medical schools as long as they are enrolled in the BS-MD program. Students who wish to apply to other medical schools should not matriculate to the BS-MD program. Matriculation to the program is an agreement between the School of Medicine and the BS-MD student that the student, if he/she satisfies all program requirements, will attend/apply to only the School of Medicine. All students will read and sign the Student Statement of Commitment to the BS-MD Accelerated Pathway program which may be found in the Appendix. The Academic Review and Promotions committee will review all BS-MD students for promotion to medical school. The Committee will review AMCAS application, clinical experience, community service, academics, major/college promotion recommendation.
Student Requirements: BS-MD students will be required to submit the following the summer before transition to medical school:
- AMCAS Application: Students will be informed of a special AMCAS category to select as BS- MD students. This application will include all academic work, clinical experience, community service, and research.
- BS-MD Personal Statement: Students must write a personal statement reflecting upon the following:
- Maturity and readiness for the next step
- Convictions about becoming a physician
- Academic and clinical preparedness for the next step
- Affirmation that medicine is still the right path and why
- Major/College Promotion Recommendation: This recommendation must be submitted directly to the School of Medicine by January 1 of the year students will be considered for promotion to the School of Medicine. Students should contact their undergraduate advisors during the Fall semester prior to promotion consideration for more information. A sample is included here for student information only. Students in the Honors Program will be required to submit a letter from the major and from the Director of the Honors Program.
- Clinical Readiness Evaluation: BS-MD Program staff will prepare a clinical readiness summary, using clinical evaluations and journal content from each required clinical experience. Students must request this evaluation by December 1 of the year prior to consideration for medical school promotion.
- MCAT: Refer to the MCAT policy section in this handbook.
Extended Program Option
Allow BS-MD Students with specific needs and enrolled in good standing in the BS-MD program to delay their matriculation into the medical school portion of the program and extend their undergraduate studies for up to one year. This program is available to students based on extenuating circumstances. Students must apply for this option no later than November 1 of the year prior to the extension request.
Student must submit, in writing (email is acceptable), the reason for requesting delayed matriculation to the Academic Review and Promotion Committee no later than November 1 of the year prior to expected medical school matriculation. Reasons students can apply for an extended program include research or study abroad opportunities.
- A limited number of program extensions are available.
- Decisions will be based on the comparative need and reasons for the program extensions; and upon space available in subsequent BS-MD classes.
- Student must not apply to other medical schools.
- Students must continue to meet the standards for admissions into medical school.
- Students are eligible to apply for an extension as long as they are in good academic standing.
- The School of Medicine may attach conditions to the program extension. If so, the student may be re-evaluated and re-approved for matriculation the following year.
Students enrolled in the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine BS-MD Accelerated Degree program are required to successfully complete clinical shadowing experiences in order to be promoted to the MD portion of the program. Clinical shadowing experiences require students be immunized for the safety of patients, themselves, and, the public; and is a requirement of School of Medicine clinical partners. This policy is in place to ensure BS-MD students meet the health requirements.
All BS-MD students are required to complete yearly immunizations and TB testing to participate in clinical shadowing experiences.
Proof of immunity must be documented by record of immunization or by serological evidence of immunity.
Upon matriculation to UNLV/UNR and the School of Medicine BS-MD Accelerated Degree program, all
BS-MD students are required to obtain or document the following immunizations:
- Varicella titer
- Measles, Mumps & Rubella (students born in 1957 or later must receive two doses of MMR)
- Tdap (must show evidence of this immunization within the past 10 years)
- Hepatitis B (series of three) or A/B combination
- Hepatitis B titer
- QuantiFERON TB Blood Test (annually)
- Influenza (annually)
Each BS-MD student must provide the BS-MD Program with a copy of their immunization records upon matriculation to the BS-MD program at UNLV/UNR.
If an immunization has been received off-campus, proof must be provided to the BS-MD Program Coordinator so that the student's immunization record can be updated.
Completion of all the health requirements will be documented.
BS-MD students who do not meet immunization requirements will not be able to complete the required clinical experiences of the BS-MD program which may impact the student's enrollment, progression, or matriculation to the MD portion of the program.
Responsibilities & Procedures
Proof of immunity provided to the BS-MD Program Coordinator in Reno or Las Vegas will be given to the School of Medicine Registrar for entry into Web IZ.