Guidelines for Promotion and Graduation

Qualifications

The evaluation of students for advancement from year to year involves objective criteria and subjective judgments similar to those employed in the admission process. To be considered for advancement, individuals must have satisfactorily completed all required medical college course work for that year and must demonstrate motivation, maturity, stability, sound judgment, a sense of responsibility, good moral character and other personal qualities. In addition to proper sensory perception and appropriate cognitive, motor, and organizational skills, students must display the ability to synthesize and apply knowledge, and possess other attributes deemed essential by the faculty to the making of a safe and effective physician.

The Medical College curriculum is divided into four successive academic years. At the end of each course, a student's performance in all required and elective courses is evaluated and recorded. The final grade in a course is determined by the appropriate department after evaluation of student performance in all aspects of the course work, including examinations. At the conclusion of each course, a student's overall performance, based on the results of evaluations in all of the courses in the curriculum of that year, is reviewed by a faculty Committee on Promotion and Graduation.

The purpose of the Guidelines for Promotion and Graduation is to detail as clearly as possible the procedures to be followed if a student demonstrates poor performance in courses or clerkships.


Dismissal

Students may be dismissed for the following reasons:
  1. failure to pass required course work or to remedy failures as described in the Guidelines for Promotion and Graduation,
  2. violation of the Code of Professional Conduct, which outlines the principles of academic integrity expected of every Cornell medical student;
  3. a determination by the faculty, after an opportunity for the student to be heard, of failure to meet the standards of fitness for medicine set forth in the section on qualifications for advancement and graduation.
In addition, any violation of the Drug and Alcohol Policy of the Medical College will be reviewed to determine fitness for medicine as explained in the Student Handbook.


Graduation

The award of the degree of Doctor of Medicine attests to the individual's successful completion of the curriculum and qualification to practice the profession effectively and skillfully. The faculty does not believe that the degree can or should be awarded subject to any restrictions or modifications, and reserves the right to withhold the granting of a degree to any person whose ability to practice medicine safely and effectively is impaired. Graduation from Weill Medical College of Cornell University fulfills one of the requirements necessary to apply for a license as a physician in the various states. Most graduates, however, pursue further training.

Candidates for the degree of Doctor of Medicine must be at least 21 years old and be of good moral character. They must have completed successfully four full courses of at least eight months each as regular matriculated medical students. All required work of the medical curriculum must be completed and all prescribed examinations passed. Every candidate for a degree must pay, or satisfactorily arrange to pay, all accounts due to the University at least ten days before Commencement.


The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended prohibits the release of educational records by institutions without the specific consent of the student or graduate.

Any student or graduate may request that an official transcript of his or her Medical College record be mailed to accredited hospitals and to educational or other recognized institutions as credentials in support of an application for a position or promotion. All official transcripts are embossed with the Cornell seal and carry the instruction that they are not to be turned over to a third party. This rule exists to avoid possible loss and fraudulent use of an official document of the Medical College. Students or alumni may send their requests to the Registrar, Office of Academic Affairs, Room C-118, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, 1300 York Avenue, New York, NY, 10021.


Medical Licensing

Graduates of Weill Medical College are admitted unconditionally to the examination for license to practice medicine in the United States. Certified students and graduates of Weill Medical College are admitted to the three steps of the United States Medical Licensing Examination which replaced the Federal Licensing Examination (FLEX) and the NBME Parts I, II, and III, as the single, uniform examination for licenses in the United States. For information, write to the USMLE Secretariat, 3930 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104.


Code of Professional Conduct

Absolute integrity is expected of every Cornell medical student in all academic and clinical activities; he/she must in no way misrepresent his/her work, fraudulently or unfairly advance his/her academic status, or be a party to another student's breach of academic integrity.

The maintenance of an atmosphere of academic honor and the fulfillment of the provisions of this Code are the responsibilities of the students and faculty of Weill Medical College. Therefore, all students and faculty members shall refrain from any action that would violate the basic principles of this Code, in spirit or letter.


Visiting and Auditing Students

Visiting students are candidates for the M.D. degree at other LCME-accredited medical schools who have met the necessary requirements and have been selected and approved to take fourth-year elective courses offered by the Medical College. Application to any elective course is made through the Office of Academic Affairs. A letter of recommendation from the Academic Dean of the parent medical school and a Student Health Form must accompany the student's application. A visiting student may participate in no more than eight weeks of elective coursework during any academic year. The student's parent school must provide adequate professional liability insurance to cover the student's activities while in attendance at Weill Medical College. Tuition will not be charged.

Auditing students are individuals who attend lecture courses at the discretion and with the permission of the department chairman. No courses offered by clinical departments may be audited. Records will not be maintained. Students who audit courses will receive no credit, and may not take final examinations.


Student Prizes and Awards

Prizes and awards are conferred at the Convocation of the Medical College which is held in conjunction with Commencement exercises in late May of the academic year.
  • The American Medical Women's Association presents the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Award to the woman who graduates first in her class, and the Janet M. Glasgow Memorial Achievement Citations to those female students who graduate in the top 10% of their class. Dr. Maude Glasgow, a 1901 Cornell University Medical College graduate, established this award in honor of her sister Janet.

  • The Viola Borkon Memorial Prize was established in 1992 by Mr. Sidney Borkon, in loving memory of his wife, Viola Borkon, who was a patient of Dr. Isadore Rosenfeld, Clinical Professor of Medicine. The prize is awarded annually to the student who has placed at the top of the class for scholastic performance upon completion of the pre-clinical curriculum.

  • The Clarence C. Coryell Prize in Medicine was endowed by a bequest from Dr. Coryell, who graduated from the Medical College in 1903. The prize is awarded to the student having the highest average in medicine through the junior year.

  • The Clarence C. Coryell Prize in Surgery was also endowed by a bequest from Dr. Coryell. The prize is awarded to the student who attains the highest performance in surgery during the third and fourth years.

  • The Gustavo Cudkowicz Memorial Prize in Immunobiology given for the first time in 1983, was established by the colleagues, friends and family of the late Dr. Gustavo Cudkowicz to perpetuate his interest in immunobiology and medical education. The prize is awarded by the Student Research Committee for outstanding research in immunobiology.

  • The Dean's Research Awards were established in 1984 with funds made available from an anonymous donation to the Medical College. Cash awards are made to matriculated students in any class for excellence in clinical research work submitted as theses, to the Student Research Committee.

  • The Oskar Diethelm Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry was established in honor of Dr. Diethelm, Chairman of the Department of Psychiatry of Cornell University Medical College from 1936 to 1962. The prize is awarded to the medical student who has demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in psychiatry through research, clinical activities, or scholarly work.

  • The David and Gladys Drusin Memorial Prize was established by his family and friends to recognize both scholastic achievement in medicine and those intangible human qualities associated with a good physician. Candidates for this prize are recommended by the Chairman of the Department of Medicine to the Dean of the Medical College at the conclusion of the third year.

  • The Franklyn Ellenbogen Prize in Hematology-Oncology was established by a gift from the Franklyn Ellenbogen, Jr., Memorial Foundation in honor of Ralph L. Nachman, M.D., the E. Hugh Luckey Distinguished Professor in Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine. The prize is given to a graduating student who has demonstrated significant evidence of achievement in Hematology/Oncology.

  • The Endocrine Society Award is a new award given to a graduating senior from each U.S. medical school who has shown special achievement and interest in the general field of endocrinology.

  • The Sarah O'Laughlin Foley Prize in Clinical Medicine: Dr. William T. Foley, Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine and a member of the class of 1937, established this prize in memory of his mother. The recipient, a member of the graduating class, is selected by the Chairman of the Department of Medicine for excellence in clinical medicine.

  • The Barbara Schmalzriedt Gast Memorial Fund for Rheumatoid Arthritis: Established in 1995, gifts from the family of the late Mrs. Gast have created this fund for an annual prize to recognize a graduate or medical student involved in the area of rheumatoid arthritis.

  • The Louis Gibofsky Memorial Prize was established by Mr. Louis Gibofsky's wife and son, Dr. Allan Gibofsky of the Class of 1973. A cash prize is offered to the medical student who, in the judgment of the Student Research Committee, submits the best research paper in nephrology, dialysis, transplantation, or immunobiology.

  • The Good Physician Award was established by the late Dr. Philip M. Stimson, Emeritus Clinical Professor of Pediatrics and a member of the Class of 1914. An engraved tray is awarded to that member of the graduating class who, by vote of the class, best exemplifies the intangible qualities of "the Good Physician."

  • The Charles L. Horn Prize is awarded to a member of the graduating class who has demonstrated outstanding qualities of leadership and service to the medical community.

  • The Herman L. Jacobius Prize in Pathology was established in 1945 by a gift from Dr. Lawrence Jacobius in memory of his son, Dr. Herman L. Jacobius '39, who gave his life in the Netherlands in World War II. The prize is awarded to the student of the third- or fourth-year class who, in the opinion of the Department of Pathology, merits recognition for high scholastic attainment and outstanding performance in pathology.

  • The Richard N. Kohl Prize for Excellence in Psychiatry was established in 1993 by a bequest from the late Dr. Richard Kohl, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry. The award, made upon the recommendation of the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry, is given to a member of the graduating class who has demonstrated the greatest proficiency in psychiatry.

  • The George Ladas Prize for Efficiency in Gynecology was established in 1980 by George Ladas, Class of 1927, in memory of his mother. The prize is awarded to the senior medical student who has demonstrated the greatest proficiency in gynecology.

  • The Dr. Harold Lamport Biomedical Research Prize was established at several medical schools by Mrs. Lamport in memory of her husband, Distinguished Service Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Given by the Student Research Committee for a thesis reporting original biomedical research, the prize is awarded to a medical student while a candidate solely for an M.D. degree.

  • The Jay Lawrence Award for Clinical Proficiency in Infectious Diseases was established in 1988 by Mrs. Lawrence in memory of her husband. Selected by the Chief of Infectious Diseases and Dr. Charles R. Steinberg, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine, the prize is awarded to a member of the graduating class who has demonstrated excellence in clinical infectious diseases.

  • The Elise Strang L'Esperance Prize in Public Health is awarded to the woman student in the graduating class who best reflects the attributes and values of Dr. L'Esperance, who served on the faculty of Cornell University Medical College for over forty years.

  • The Robert M. Lintz Prize for Efficiency in Rheumatic Diseases was established by Dr. Robert M. Lintz '27 to be awarded to a member of the graduating class for achievement in rheumatic diseases.

  • The Medical Society of the State of New York's program is designed to recognize a graduating student at each medical school in the state for outstanding community service, whether related or unrelated to the field of medicine.

  • The George S. Meister Prize in Pediatrics was established in memory of Dr. Meister, Class of 1926, as an expression of the esteem in which he was held. The prize is derived from a fund contributed to by the members of his family, close friends and associates, classmates in chemical engineering from New York University and his classmates at Cornell University Medical College. First awarded in 1967, the prize is given each year for special achievement in pediatrics to a member of the graduating class selected by the Department of Pediatrics.

  • The Alfred Moritz Michaelis Prize in General Medicine: A prize for "general efficiency" in the Department of Medicine is given in memory of Alfred Moritz Michaelis, Class of 1925, who died shortly after his graduation.

  • The James A. Moore Scholarship was established in 1981 by former associates and members of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in honor of their chairman, Dr. Moore, upon his retirement. The award is presented to a student who excels in the field of otorhinolaryngology.

  • The Gustave J. Noback Memorial Prize in Anatomy was established in 1962 by Miss Berthe Manent, a graduate of The New York Hospital School of Nursing, in memory of Dr. Gustave J. Noback. Dr. Noback will be remembered for his great kindness and generosity to all his students, and also for his work in research and sculpture. The recipient, a student who has performed outstanding work in the field of anatomy, is chosen by the Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.

  • The Gustave J. Noback Memorial Fund for Advanced Study and Teaching in the Field of Anatomy was established by a second fund from Miss Berthe Manent to help meet the needs of young men and women entering the field. The recipient of this prize is also chosen by the Chairman of the Department of Cell Biology and Anatomy.

  • The Arthur Palmer Prize for Efficiency in Otorhinolaryngology was established by members of the Department of Otorhinolaryngology in honor of Dr. Palmer, who served as acting chairman of the department from 1927 to 1938. The award is given to the student in the graduating class who has the best

  • The Joan Severino Parisi Prize in Internal Medicine was established in 1989 by Dr. Alfred F. Parisi, Class of 1963, in loving memory of his wife, Joan Severino Parisi. The prize is awarded to the graduating senior who, in the judgment of the faculty, has demonstrated both a warm and caring relationship for patients and a high level of scholastic achievement in Internal Medicine.

  • The Robert F. Pitts Prize was established by a generous gift from the late Robert F. Pitts, former chairman of the Department of Physiology and past president of the American Physiological Society. The prize is awarded for a research thesis in physiology presented to a committee headed by the Chairman of the Department of Physiology and consisting of the Dean and the Chairman of the Student Research Committee as well as the Chairmen of the Departments of Physiology at Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine.

  • The John Metcalf Polk Prizes were established in honor of the son of the first dean of the Medical College, John Metcalf Polk, a graduate of the Class of 1899, who remained at the College as an instructor until his death in 1904. These prizes, the highest scholastic honors a student can achieve at the Medical College, are awarded to the three students who place at the top of the class for scholastic performance in all four years.

  • The Dean William Mecklenburg Polk Memorial Prize was established in memory of William Mecklenburg Polk, M.D., L.L.D., first dean of the Medical College, who served from 1898 until 1918.

  • The Moselle and Milton Pollack Prize in Medical Ethics was established by a gift from the Pollacks, long term patients of Dr. Charles R. Steinberg. Judge Pollack has had a distinguished career on the Federal Bench and has an abiding interest in professional ethics. The prize is granted to the medical student who has demonstrated exceptional interest and ability in the field of Medical Ethics.

  • The Ralph I. Poucher Prize for Proficiency in Obstetrics and Gynecology was established in 1989 by Mrs. David D. Thompson in memory of her father. The prize is awarded to a graduating woman student for proficiency in Obstetrics and Gynecology.

  • The George G. Reader Prize in Public Health was endowed in 1992 by friends and colleagues of Dr. George Reader '43, who served as Chairman of the Department of Public Health from 1972 to 1992. A cash prize is given to the graduating student who, in the judgment of the Department's faculty, shows the most promise in the field of public health.

  • The Gustav Seeligmann Prize for Efficiency in Obstetrics was established by an anonymous donor in recognition of the work of Dr. Gustav Seeligmann, instructor at the Medical College and a prominent New York obstetrician in the early 1900's. The prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has achieved the best record in obstetrics.

  • The Sondra Lee Shaw Memorial Prize was established by Mrs. Joan S. Friedman in memory of her sister, Dr. Sondra Lee Shaw ' 52. This prize is awarded by the Student Research Committee to the student who has produced an outstanding research paper in the field of neurology, pharmacology related to the nervous system, or behavioral science.

  • The Paul Sherlock Prize in Internal Medicine was established by the members of the Alpha Omega Alpha honor society of the Class of 1985 and the Alumni Association to honor Dr. Paul Sherlock, Class of 1954, a popular and respected teacher until his death in 1985. The award is presented to the graduating student who is pursuing a career in Internal Medicine and who has demonstrated exceptional integrity and compassion in caring for patients, as exemplified by Dr. Sherlock.

  • The G. Thomas Shires II Prize in Surgery was established by the Department of Surgery in 1995. It is awarded to a graduating medical student who exemplifies the qualities of an academic surgeon interested in patient care, science, and education. Dr. Shires exhibited these qualities throughout his surgical career as a physician, scientist, educator, and Chairman of four major Departments of Surgery in the United States.

  • The Mitchell Spivak Memorial Prize in Pediatrics was established in memory of the father of Dr. Jerry Spivak, Class 1964, and is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has achieved the best record in pediatrics.

  • The Faith Stewart-Gordon Prize for Excellence in Rehabilitation Medicine is awarded to the student who demonstrates a sincere interest in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and shows the most promise to excel in that field.

  • The T. Campbell Thompson Prize for Excellence in Orthopedic Surgery was established to recognize Dr. Thompson for his interest in teaching and leadership in the field of orthopedic surgery. Dr. Thompson was Surgeon-in- Chief of the Hospital for Special Surgery from 1955 to 1963. The prize is awarded to the member of the graduating class who has shown greatest proficiency in orthopedic surgery. The selection is made by the Dean upon recommendation of the faculty and staff of the Hospital for Special Surgery.

  • The Alan Van Poznak Award for Excellence in Anesthesiology was established in 1990 by the Department of Anesthesiology in recognition of Dr. Alan Van Poznak's contribution and dedication to the medical education of Cornell University Medical College students.

  • The Alan von Kreuter Cancer Research Prize was established in 1991 in memory of Alan von Kreuter, whose daughter Betsy and son-in-law Juan Carlos Felix graduated from the Graduate School of Medical Sciences in 1988, and Medical College in 1984, respectively. Candidates for this prize are recommended by the Student Research Committee to the Dean of the Medical College. The prize is awarded to a medical student for outstanding research in the basic mechanisms of cancer and related diseases.

  • The Weiss Prize for Excellence in Clinical Medicine was established by Mr. and Mrs. Roger Weiss in 1979 as an expression of the high esteem in which they hold their physician, Dr. Harvey Klein, William S. Paley Professor of Clinical Medicine. The award is given to a member of the graduating class who, in the opinion of a committee chaired by Dr. Klein and including the Chairman of the Department of Medicine, best exemplifies the qualities necessary for the attainment of outstanding bedside clinical competence in the field of internal medicine.

  • The Anthony Seth Werner, M.D., Memorial Prize was established by Dr. Aaron S. Werner in memory of his son, Dr. Anthony Seth Werner, who, at the time of his death in 1968, was Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine. The prize is awarded to a member of the graduating class for excellence in the study of infectious diseases.

  • The Harold G. Wolff Research Prize, established in memory of the late Chief of Neurology at The New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, is given to the medical student who has completed the most outstanding piece of original research in the neurological or behavioral sciences.

  • Class of 1952 Resident Physician Prize: This award was established in 1993 by the Class of 1952 at its 40th Reunion, and is given, by vote of the graduating class, to a New York Hospital resident physician who has demonstrated excellence and dedication to the instruction of medical students.

  • The House Staff Teaching Award is given by the graduating class to the Cornell-affiliated house officer who best demonstrates clinical excellence and dedication to teaching.

  • The Senior List was established by the Class of 1994 to recognize 16 faculty members who have made a commitment to and demonstrated excellence in teaching. Lapel pins are given to the faculty members on the Senior List and their names are inscribed in a plaque displayed in The Wood Library.

  • The Medical Student Executive Council has established two awards for excellence in teaching in the basic science courses.

  • The Elliot Hochstein Teaching Award was established by the Class of 1971 and Alpha Omega Alpha in recognition of the late Dr. Elliot Hochstein's compassion, skill and distinction as a physician and teacher.

  • The NBI Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey Humanism in Medicine Awards were established by this newly established grantmaking organization that believes that a key component of medical education is compassionate and humanistic care of patients. By vote of a committee of faculty members and students, these awards are presented to recognize and honor one faculty member and one graduating student who demonstrate the highest standard of compassion and sensitivity in their interaction with patients.

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