Student Dr. R dreamed of becoming an obstetrician gynecologist. She was passionate about women’s health. For the first year and a half of medical school she excelled in her coursework, and by all indications was doing very well. She met regularly with her academic advisor, often proactively reaching out and scheduling check-ins. Then, one day, she scored lower than usual on a mid-term for the Respiratory Medicine course. Her advisor was alerted through ProgressIQ. The advisor checked Student Dr. R’s Snapshot of academic performance and emailed his advisee about this uncharacteristic “blip”.
Student Dr. R explained that she was embarrassed and distracted. Her mother was diagnosed with a serious health issue the night before the exam. Student Dr. R repeatedly stated that she took full responsibility for her academic performance, and the advisor documented their plan going forward in ProgressIQ. Unfortunately, two weeks later Student Dr. R failed the final exam and the course.
Again, she met with her advisor. Student Dr. R related that her mother had undergone surgery the day of the exam, her husband was out of town defending his dissertation, and she had two small children at home. Throughout, she “made no excuses”, was very apologetic for her performance, and took full responsibility. Her advisor documented the meeting thoroughly in ProgressIQ.
All students who fail a course in her program must go to the Student Performance Committee (SPC). The SPC reviewed her entire academic performance in ProgressIQ, which included the notes from her meetings with her academic advisor. The SPC made three key observations: (1) Other than this one course failure, the student was academically strong; (2) The student had significant “real-life” issues—which were quite serious and would distract anyone; (3) Yet, Student Dr. R repeatedly took full responsibility and was eager to continue excelling in her academic studies. The SPC recommended that she remediate the course during summer and be closely monitored going forward. The SPC documented their recommendations in ProgressIQ, noting how impressed they were with how professionally the student conducted herself during the meeting and throughout her academic journey.
Student Dr. R went on to successfully remediate the course and did very well in her coursework, on the licensing boards, and during clinical rotations. What seemed like a “failure” turned out to be a thoroughly documented story of strength, character, perseverance, and grit. Her story of overcoming significant challenges was documented in ProgressIQ, and carried forward into her MSPE, read by program directors selecting residents.
Student Dr. R. is now “Dr. R”, having matched successfully. She now practices obstetrics and gynecology and is a strong advocate for women’s health issues. Her mother made a full recovery, her husband is a professor, her children are young adults.