Tel Aviv University/Sackler School of Medicine/American Program
Satisfactory Academic Progress Policy
- This satisfactory academic progress policy applies to all students whether or not they receive federal loans. Students must complete the full medical program curriculum, usually completed in four years, in a period of time not to exceed six academic years from the date of initial matriculation. No academic year of study may be repeated more than once.
- Except as specifically stated otherwise below with respect to particular units, students are expected to successfully complete all course work (including passing all exams and projects) of a given academic year within 2 calendar years, and must do so before they may progress to the subsequent academic year.
- With regard to the impact on satisfactory academic progress of withdrawals, students are not allowed to withdraw from individual courses. If a student receives a failing grade in a course, the student must retake and pass the course on the second attempt. Students are not permitted to transfer credits from other institutions.
- Should a student fail to meet the minimum standards required below by the end of any academic year, the student will be notified by email that he/she will lose eligibility for the Direct Loan program unless the student submits a successful appeal to the Academic Advising Committee (“AAC”). The appeal should describe the mitigating circumstances that prevented the student from meeting the minimum standards. If the appeal is approved, the student will be placed on Financial Aid Probation for one semester and will continue to be eligible for Direct Loans. The student may be placed on an Academic Plan for an additional semester. If the student does not meet the minimum standards for satisfactory academic progress following the periods of a Financial Aid Probation and Academic Plan, if applicable, the student will lose eligibility for the Direct Loan program.
- Individual grades and evaluations may be appealed by a student.
- Attorneys may not be present at any of the AAC’s proceedings, to include the whole Committee or any meeting of persons carrying out the Committee’s business. The sole exception is a medical student who is also an attorney as a participant in proceedings, or as the student under consideration.
- A student may be indefinitely removed from curricular participation (until the matter is settled) for being delinquent with regard to important non-academic policies, e.g., vaccination or other health related, housing-related, financial requirements, etc.
- A student may not record any meeting with the Tel Aviv University Sackler School of Medicine/American Program (“TAU SSOM/AP”) staff including advising meetings, and AAC
- Proper notice to students is defined as a notice sent to a confirmed Email address.
- If a student fails to respond to proper correspondence for a period exceeding 10 days, he/she may be administratively dismissed from the university.
- A student, who fails to arrive on time to ANY exam/quiz/mandatory activity, will fail that activity, unless a waiver is granted by the AAC. This will be reflected on the student’s transcript.
- A student who is found to have misrepresented him/herself in the admissions process or during their time at TAU SSOM/AP is subject to immediate dismissal. This includes misrepresentation during application process and offenses such as signing in for one another during mandatory events (both signer and signee).
The pre-clerkship curriculum (first and second year of study) takes place primarily on campus and prepares the student for the subsequent clinical curriculum during which students complete clinical rotations in hospitals and clinics.
The first year of study is composed of 5 “Building Blocks of Basic Science” (“Blocks” for short) of varying number of weeks. Each Block is made-up of 2-4 individual courses that complement each other from a content point of view. For example, in Block 1 “Molecules to Cells”, the student will study Medical Biochemistry and Genetics; in Block 2, “Cells to Tissues”, the student will learn about Cell Physiology, Cell Biology, Tissue Histology and Neuroanatomy. Block 3 is our longest Block and teaches Human Structure and Function: Gross Anatomy, Systems Physiology, Embryology and Histology. Block 4 explores “Invasion and Defense – Part 1” with the Medical Immunology and General Pathology courses. The first year of study ends with “Invasion and Defense – Part 2” in which students study Medical Microbiology and Introductory Pharmacology.
With this background in basic sciences, all taught with the clinical context in mind, students move on to the second year of study, the Systems Year. Body systems are studied with a focus on pathological, pathophysiological and pharmacological principles needed to understand medical illness. Each system is approximately 3 weeks in length. The second year of study ends with two final assessments: The National Board of Medical Examiners’ (“NBME”) Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (“CBSE”) and the United States Medical Licensing Exam (“USMLE”) Step 1 Examination.
- Length of study in the pre-clerkship curriculum: The pre-clerkship Curriculum is usually completed in the initial two years of study. However in the event that for any reason the pre-clinical curriculum is not completed in this time frame, it must be completed within four academic years from the year of matriculation.
- Academic calendar: The TAU SSOM/AP’s academic calendar will be available at the beginning of the academic year:
- The calendar is subject to change at the discretion of the Associate Director of Pre-clinical Education.
- Barring illness, no additional days for holidays or vacations are permitted. Students, with no exceptions, are not permitted to take extra vacation or holiday days aside from those noted on the academic calendar.
- Assessment in the pre-clinical curriculum: Assessment in the first two years of study is both formative and summative. A grade of 65 is necessary to pass ALL quizzes, examinations, blocks and systems.
- Formative assessment refers to quizzes, exercises, labs, and Case-Based Learning (“CBL”) Exercises that comprise the internal grade for a course, Block or System.
- The internal grade makes up 50% of the final course grade; a National Board of Medical Examiners (“NBME”) examination contributes the other 50%.
- If a student fails an individual course or System quiz, no make-up quiz is given. However, if a student fails the internal component of an entire course, he/she will be given the opportunity to write a make-up quiz in that course.
- A student who misses a quiz, lab, CBL or exercises with no justifiable excuse and without prior written permission (see “Mandatory Curricular Activities” below) forfeits his/her chance to complete a make-up activity; he/she will receive a grade of 0% for the missed curricular activity. If this is the first attempt a make up may be given but the overall score will not exceed 65% (regardless of score on make up exam).
- The NBME customized examination service is used to create final block and system examinations.
- A student who fails a NBME examination will be permitted to write a make-up NBME examination, which will be completely different in content from the original examination.
- A student who fails the make-up NBME exam will be required to repeat that Block or System of study (see Failure to pass a course/Block or System of study).
- Make-up examinations in the pre-clerkship curriculum are scheduled by the Office of Student Academic Affairs (“OSAA”) and planned for only one date per course. First-year make-up examinations will be offered to allow for timely entry into the second year. Second-year make-up examinations will be offered to allow for timely entry into the clerkship curriculum.
- Failure to appear for a scheduled exam without prior written permission will be the procedural equivalent of failing said exam.
- Examinations may not be taken for any reason at another off-campus location (Prometric Centre, USA, Canada, etc.).
- Comprehensive Basic Science Examination (“CBSE”): The CBSE is the summative final examination of the two pre-clerkship years. It is written at the end of the second year of study. The passing grade for the CBSE is a scaled score of 65%. In the event that a student fails the CBSE and its make-up exam, he/she will be considered ineligible to write the USMLE Step 1 Exam.
- In this case, the TAU SSOM/AP will NOT re-verify that student’s eligibility status for the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (“ECFMG”).
- A student who fails the CBSE exam and its make-up will be required to go on “extended study” status for a remedial year which will include studying for a repeat CBSE in the spring of the following academic year.
- If a student achieves a passing grade on the subsequent year’s CBSE he/she will be permitted to write the USMLE Step 1 exam.
- A student who fails the CBSE exam for a second time will be asked to withdraw from the program: His/her transcript will reflect a failing grade for the second year of study.
- USMLE Step 1 Examination: The USMLE Step 1 is the first of a series of four examinations required for licensure as a physician in the United States. The Step I of the USMLE examination series MUST be written before commencement of the clerkship curriculum (specifically before the first clerkship rotation, usually psychiatry).
- Should a student fail to take the Step I Exam before the first Clerkship rotation, he/she will be not be permitted to continue with his/her studies. The student will be placed on automatic “extended study” status.
- Should a student be notified that he/she failed USMLE Step I during the first clerkship rotation, he/she will be allowed to complete that specific rotation in progress, but will have to postpone subsequent clerkships until the following year when the USMLE Step I Examination is retaken by the student and passed.
- A student will have two opportunities to pass the USMLE Step I Examination. Failure to pass the second attempt will result in dismissal/withdrawal from the MD Program at TAU SSOM/AP.
- Failure to pass a course/Block or System of study:
- First year. A student, who fails a first year course and its make-up assessment, thus fails that Block of study.
- He/she will be required to repeat the entire Block as well as Blocks following it, in the subsequent academic year.
- In this case, the student will not be able to progress to the subsequent Blocks of first year study.
- Because Blocks are scheduled only annually, the student in this situation will find him/herself with time off from official study until beginning his/her remedial coursework with the class below. The status of a student in this situation is termed “extended study”.
- Second Year. A student, who fails a second year System and its make-up assessment, thus fails that System of study.
- He/she will be required to repeat the entire System as well as Systems following it, in the subsequent academic year. In this case, the student will notbe able to progress to the subsequent Systems of second year study.
- A student who passes all 3 internal components of a 3-system component of study, but fails the 3-system NBME exam and its make-up assessment, thus fails that 3-system component. In this case, the student will not be able to progress to the subsequent Systems of second year study and must repeat all 3 systems of that component in the subsequent academic year as well as all subsequent systems of study.
- Because Systems are scheduled only annually, the student in this situation will find him/herself with time off from official study until beginning his/her remedial coursework with the class below. The status of a student in this situation is termed “extended study.
- In addition:
- A student with a single course, Block or System, failure may be required to repeat the entire academic year if their performance in other courses, Blocks or Systems, has been uniformly poor (grades 60-70%).
- A student who fails two or more courses, Blocks or Systems, will be required to repeat the entire academic year.
- The AAC reserves the right to consider student failures on an individual basis.
- Mandatory Curricular Activities: Attendance is required at mandatory curricular events without exception.
- Mandatory classes include (but are not limited to) Laboratories, Workshops, Case-Based Learning (“CBL”) exercises, Hospital Clinical Days, [need complete name] (“MPSD”), Hebrew language instruction classes and quizzes/examinations
- In the case of illness an official medical certificate signed by a physician and sent via email to the TAU SSO/AP New York office (?) is required.
- Other excusable absences will be approved on a case by case basis. Requests for approval of absences not due to illness MUST be submitted in at least 2 weeks in advance to the TAU SSOM/AP New York office(?). Lack of adherence to policies on attendance may result in disciplinary action.
- In order to begin the third clerkship year the student must successfully complete all preclinical academic requirements of the first two years of study.
- A student who refuses to repeat the relevant curriculum components and attain a passing grade will be asked to withdraw from the program.
- A student may not begin the clinical curriculum until all course requirements are satisfied for Years I and II.
- The Year III curriculum includes the required CORE clerkships in Psychiatry, Internal Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics and Obstetrics & Gynecology. It further includes a two-week ER clerkship that is coupled with USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills exam training.
- Attendance is mandatory for each and every day of the third year clerkships without exception. No student may be absent without expressed written (via email) approval of Dr. Capua, Dr. Allen or the OSAA (NY TAU office).
- Students are allowed (a maximum of 6) personal days per year after approval of the administration. You may not take more than :
- One day during each of pediatrics, OB-GYN, psychiatry, surgery clerkships
- Two days during internal medicine clerkship
- No days are permitted during EM\CS workshops weeks
The TAU SSOM/AP academic calendar is published every year. No additional days for holidays or vacations are permitted. Students are not permitted to take a personal day either before or after a planned vacation on the calendar- there are no exceptions.
*In the event of extenuating circumstances (wedding, birth, death, etc.) students are asked to request PRIOR approval for absence. Students who violate the attendance policy will be eligible to receive a maximum of 65 on the ward grade and will be invited to appear before the AAC.
- The clerkship grade is made up of 3 equally weighted components. The ward grade, the oral exam and the NBME written/computerized shelf exam. Each component must be passed with a minimum passing score of 65.
- All raw scores are then normalized to class average of 30 % pass, 40% high pass, and 30% honors. These normalized scores are reflected on your transcripts.
- Failure of the students in any of the three components requires a makeup exam in that component. The make-up exam is scheduled at the discretion of the administration of the TAU SSOM/AP.
- Students failing any component of the clerkship for a second time have failed the entire clerkship and must repeat all three components of the clerkship the following year. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Students who fail any of the three components on the first attempt and pass on the makeup may receive a final grade of the clerkship of PASS only.
- At any time when a student fails the USMLE Step 1 exam or fails the clerkship as detailed above, that student stops their third year at the point at which he/she received the failing mark and will not continue their studies or clinical duties until they have passed the exam or clerkship in question. For example, if a student fails the PEDIATRICS NBME exam for the second time in the second week of surgery that student stops his/her clinical and academic activities and must return to complete the pediatric clerkship and surgery and OB-GYN the following year.
- NBME exam results cannot be appealed to the AAC.
- Oral exams can be appealed in writing within 24 hours of the oral exam to Dr. Allen. An appeals form must be completed and emailed to Dr. Allen. No appeals will be considered after this time.
- At all times and for all meetings in the third year professional attire is required. There are no exceptions. Students failing to arrive dressed professionally will be sent home for that day (at the expense of a personal day) and may be called for a meeting with AAC.
- A student will only be allowed to sit for two make-up exams during the clerkship cycle. In other words, for the five required clerkships in Year III, only two may be passed via make-up examinations. Any additional clerkship failures will not be remediable via make-up examination, i.e., the failing grade becomes final.
- A recommendation for withdrawal may be made based on a pattern of persistent marginal performance in the c1erkships.
- A MSPE will be provided only after satisfactory completion of the entire Year III clerkship cycle and will reflect all attempts including failure.
Year 4 Curriculum
- The year 4 curriculum is comprised of:
- 16 weeks of electives generally completed in the USA with our affiliated hospitals
- Core Rotations which MUST completed in Israel (no exceptions) in Neurology, Family medicine, Radiology.
- 5 weeks of Israeli electives.
- 16 FULL WEEKS of PRE-APPROVED electives must be completed in order to graduate. An elective is considered completed only after the OSAA receives a formal evaluation from the pre-approved elective preceptor of the elective.
- In the spring of the third year, students will complete a pre 4th year elective form. These forms must be approved by AAC prior to applying to the electives.
- If a student wishes to complete a non-standard elective (for example an elective in a private practice) they must submit a non-standard elective form which includes
- Letter of intent indicating where you will be completing the elective, how many hours per week, what skills will you be learning
- CV of Preceptor of elective
- Letter from Preceptor detailing your elective.
This form must be submitted in its entirety prior to approval.
- A student MUST return to Israel to complete the second half of the 4th year in Israel. There are no exceptions to this rule.
- Attendance is mandatory for all hospital days, meetings etc. in 4th Any hospital days missed will need to be completed AFTER graduation. You may not complete days missed during Fridays, weekends, and holidays (such as Passover, Shavuot, and Yom Haatzmaut, etc). You will be granted a diploma only after you have completed all the course work and handed in evaluations. There are no exceptions to this rule. ** Please note a delay in receiving a diploma may delay the beginning of your residency and or processing of ECFMG CERTIFICATE.
- Occasionally students are offered late season interviews requiring them to leave Israel or delay their return to Israel. As stated above, all hospital days missed will need to be completed AFTER graduation.
- Personal days in 4th year will be reviewed on a case by case basis.
- Course failures or deficiencies in the senior year, in elective course work, will be reviewed by the Committee. A student who fails an elective course will be required to repeat that course or a course of similar academic value. A student who fails two elective courses will be required, at a minimum, to repeat the fourth year.
- Any communication between students and affiliated hospitals MUST go through OSAA. In specific cases the OSAA may approve you to speak directly to a hospital regarding a given situation.
USMLE Step 1, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS (United States Medical Licensing Exams)
- Taking Step I of the USMLE examination is required before commencement of the year 3 clerkship curriculum. Should a student be notified that he/she failed step I during the psychiatry clerkship, he/she will be allowed to complete the clerkship, but will have to postpone subsequent clerkships until Step I is retaken and passed. Graduation will be postponed.
- Students have 2 opportunities to pass Step I. Failure to pass in 2 attempts will result in dismissal/withdrawal.
- It is strongly recommended that Step 2 CK (Clinical Knowledge) and Step 2 CS (Clinical Skills) of the USMLE be taken prior to the end of June of Year III. CS should be taken during the Passover break in the spring of year III.
- All students are required to pass USMLE STEP 1, 2,CK/CS in order to graduate.
- A maximum of 2 attempts will be allowed for Step 2 CK and Step 2 CS (two attempts each) of the USMLE. A failed second attempt results in that student’s becoming permanently ineligible to graduate from the TAU SSOM/AP, under any circumstance.
- Any and all special accommodations related to the USMLE examinations are at the sole discretion of the USMLE.
- Passing scores in the USMLE Step I, Step 2 CK, and Step 2 CS must be received prior to the graduation of any student.
- A student may not graduate with any incomplete coursework, including clinical course work, on his/her record.
- A student who has a deficiency in any of the graduation requirements may participate in the graduation ceremony at the discretion of the OSAA. However, such students will be required to sign a waiver acknowledging that they understand they will not be receiving the MD degree, and will receive an empty diploma tube until such time as said requirements are fulfilled.
LOA, RESEARCH AND EXTENDED STUDY
The TAU SSOM/AP curriculum is designed to be completed in four (4) years. Occasionally, however, for several reasons a student is not able to complete the curriculum in that time. The following information is for such cases. Please note the MD degree must be completed in a period of time not to exceed six (6) academic years from the year of matriculation. No year may be repeated more than once. Upon returning to clinical curriculum students are required to submit a report and request to return to studies at the culmination of their year. MSPE will include descriptions of all years including Leave of Absence (“LOA”), RESEARCH or EXTENDED STUDY years.
Leave of Absence
LOA is defined as an extended period of time off from formal medical studies for medical or personal reasons. During the period of LOA the student is NOT considered an active medical student and will not have medical malpractice coverage or be able to participate in any medical school activities.
Direct Loan recipients who wish to request a leave of absence must submit a written request stating the reason for the leave of absence to the AAC. The federal leave of absence may be granted for no more than 180 days if the AAC has a reasonable expectation that the student will return. If a student does not return, the student will be withdrawn as of the last date of an academically-related activity. The student who does not return may have used some or all of his or her grace period for the Direct Loan and may be required to enter repayment. A LOA must be formally approved by the AAC in writing. Students wishing to take a LOA must fill out the LOA form and have this approved before any LOA begins.
- Medical- This includes any medical or mental health issue limiting the student’s ability to perform fully as a student of medicine. In most circumstances, a formal letter from a physician or counselor and/or both will be required for resumption of medical school. Students must be aware that because of the curriculum requirements of the TAU SSOM/AP, a LOA for medical reasons (even if only temporary) may require a full year LOA in order to adequately complete the course work in sequence. The duration of the LOA is at the discretion of the Administration of the TAU SSO/AP.
- Personal- A student may take a personal leave of absence for issues not pertaining to conditions described in the medical LOA – these may be for family reasons (i.e. pregnancy or death of close relative) or any other cause which is approved by the Administration. This LOA must be requested in writing by the student and approved by the Administration prior to any LOA beginning.
The TAU SSOM/AP encourages students in all years to be actively involved in academic research.
A small minority of OUTSTANDING students may apply for a research year in order to augment their medical studies. These select group of outstanding students must formally apply to the research committee by the April 1st deadline and have their research proposal reviewed and approved by the committee in order pursue their research year. During the research year students are considered students in good standing and receive all the privileges and rights of a student of the TAU SSOM/AP. (Including health and malpractice insurance). These students will be required to take a full academic year in order to pursue this research year and therefore this year cannot be divided in the middle of the academic year cycle. Students on a research year are NOT charged additional tuition for their studies but are required to pay administrative/registration fees to TAU SSOM/AP. The TAU SSOM/AP and the research committee reserve the right to limit the number of student pursuing a research year in any one calendar year.
The program at the TAU SSOM/AP is a rigorous clinical/academic program. With this understanding there are times when a student will ask or be required to extend their medical studies beyond the formal 4 years of study to include an additional year of extended study. This 5th year is an option for students needing to repeat coursework or requiring additional time to complete the TAU SSOM/AP rigorous curriculum. A student desiring to or requested to extend their studies to a 5th year is required to fill out the extended study request form and submit for approval. All extended study students are required to receive written approval from the school registrar and approval of the Administration prior to beginning an extended study period. During this extended study year students are considered active students (currently not in good standing-only if they failed ) of the TAU SSOM/AP and as such may be ineligible for medical and malpractice insurance. The TAU SSOM/AP reserves the right to approve/reject any students request for an extended study year. While not assessed formal tuition during this 5th year, students will be required to pay administrative fees during this year
PROFESSIONALISM, THE HONOR CODE AND PROFESSIONAL MISCONDUCT
- Medical students are physicians-in-training from the start of medical school. As such they are expected to uphold and manifest the highest standards of integrity and professionalism. The TAU SSOM/AP strives to foster integrity and professionalism, both in the behavior of individuals and in the interactions among members of the medical community as a whole. The Honor Code guides students who may encounter difficult moral and ethical issues when they arise throughout their medical career. In this capacity the standards of conduct promote expected behaviors, punish unprofessional behaviors, and educate students to confront these issues.
- It shall be the responsibility of the entire community to uphold the integrity and ethical standards set forth in the Honor Code.
- In general, allegations of misconduct are handled through the AAC but may be brought forth to the dean, the police or the university.
- Professional misconduct and/or breaches of ethical behavior include but are not limited to cheating, plagiarism, fabrication, falsification of documents or academic work, intentionally damaging or interfering in the academic or clinical work of others, or assisting others in any of these acts. Professional misconduct also includes, but is not limited to, failure to fulfill responsibilities on clinical rotations or any behavior on the part of the student that is potentially detrimental to the welfare of patients. Failure to meet generally accepted standards of personal integrity, professional conduct or emotional stability, or inappropriate or disruptive behavior toward colleagues, faculty, or other medical staff, also constitutes misconduct.
- Any student who at any time before or during medical school has been convicted of a crime is required to immediately inform the OSAA with full details. Any student arrested or who is under investigation for any crime shall immediately inform the OSAA. Failure to do so is grounds for dismissal.
- Any student thought to have committed a breach of professional conduct may be suspended immediately pending completion of the deliberations as set forth in this policy.
- Faculty, house staff, and others involved in the supervision and training of medical students are cautioned that consensual romantic relationships with medical students may prove problematic and are expressly discouraged.
APPEALS OF COMMITTEE DECISIONS
- Students may appeal certain decisions and recommendations of the Committee, as indicated elsewhere in this policy. In particular, if the AAC decides that a student should be dismissed or be encouraged to withdraw in lieu of dismissal, the student will be so notified verbally as soon as is possible, and in writing within one week. The student then has 10 days to appeal this decision.
- Appeals must be presented to the OSAA in writing, within 10 days of receipt of notification of the Committee’s decision. An ad hoc Appeals Committee consisting of four faculty members not on the AAC and chaired by the Chair(s) of the AAC will be constituted and meet as soon as possible. OSAA staff, including Program Director, will be present at this meeting during presentation of the student’s history at the TAU SSOM/AP.
- As the deliberations of the Committee are substantially academic in nature, neither the student nor the TAU SSOM/AP will be represented by legal counsel at meetings.
- If the Appeals Committee upholds the decision of the AAC, the decision of the Committee becomes final.