The University of Maryland School of Medicine is committed to the highest level of educational activity and professional conduct throughout all programs. As such, the School of Medicine is committed to maintaining a drug-free working and educational environment, in compliance with federal and state laws, for medical students, faculty, staff and a safe clinical environment for patients. 1
Throughout matriculation and the continuation of undergraduate medical education, enrolled students are required to demonstrate proficiencies in the School of Medicine’s technical standards. Technical standards ensure that enrolled students are committed not only to their education and desired profession, but the safety and care of others during a clinical setting. Students must be free of drug-free impairments and be able to show proficiency in all outlined technical standards in order to graduate with the M.D. degree, and with the expectation that a student will be able to progress in training to become a licensed physician. 2
While enrolled at the School of Medicine, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that they are functioning free from the influence of illicit or illegal substances. Any enrolled medical student engaged in the unlawful manufacture, distribution, dispensation, possession and/or use of a controlled substance, or convicted for any drug-related or alcohol related offense, will result in a report made to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for intervention and/or the possibility of disciplinary action as authorized by the University of Maryland, Baltimore Policies and Procedures.
Affiliated institutions and clinics may require drug testing for anyone who is involved with patient care, including School of Medicine Students, and therefore the Student is required to be in compliance with all clinical sites.
Drug test results will remain separate from the academic record.
1 A controlled substance is defined as any substance in schedules I through V of section 202 of the Controlled Substance Act (21 U.D.V. 812). This categorization by federal legislation is understood by the University of Maryland School of Medicine to supersede any state, county or municipal statues which might be perceived to allow latitude for legal use.
2 University of Maryland School of Medicine Office of Admissions
III. DRUG SCREENING PROCEDURES.
The School shall have the right to request that an enrolled medical student participate in a urine drug screen (UDS) at the following times:
- Baltimore VA Medical Center program of random drug screening during clinical rotations
- Progression into certain clinical settings; and
- Upon reasonable suspicion. For purposes of this policy, reasonable suspicion shall mean:
- Observable phenomena, such as direct observation of drug use or possession and/or the physical symptoms of being under the influence of a drug or alcohol;
- A pattern of abnormal conduct or erratic behavior;
- Information provided by reliable and credible sources regarding the student’s alleged violation of this policy;
- Newly discovered evidence that the student tampered with a previous drug test;
- Unexplained controlled substances missing or diverted from the clinical or laboratory environment, if the medical student had reasonable access to the controlled substances or alcohol during the time of the event; or
- Evidence of circumstances or information which may cause a reasonable person to conclude that an enrolled medical student has more likely than not engaged in conduct that violates this policy.
If enrolled medical students are requested to take a UDS they shall sign a consent form allowing the results of the UDS and any additional screening to be released to the School’s Advancement Committee and an ad hoc Conduct Committee. The results disclosed to the School shall be limited to “pass” or “fail”, where “pass” indicates no reasonable concern for an active problem and “fail” indicates the reasonable conclusion that an active problem is present.
Any enrolled medical student who does not participate in the drug screen process, or who refuses to submit the required consent, will not be permitted to participate in clinical activity.
All enrolled medical students shall be relieved from patient care and clinical service pending the results of a UDS or other screening required for “reasonable suspicion.” The results of the UDS or other screening will be reviewed by the contracted vendor for determination of passage/failure.
3 The School reserves the right to require administration of a UDS with an inquiry panel sufficiently broad as determined by situational need. If not sufficient, a UDS panel may be supplemented with, or replaced by, other testing modalities including but not limited to those requiring blood, hair, nail and/or breath samples.
A positive UDS result or screening will result in a failure of the UDS or other screening:
- If the sample contains drugs and/or metabolites for which the contracted vendor concludes there is no legitimate explanation other than the use of a prohibited drug or alcohol;
- In situations where the contracted vendor determines that urine samples are dilute or fail to meet threshold as measured by the vendor’s standards for adequate temperature, creatinine and specific gravity; of
- If an enrolled medical student refuses to submit to testing, fails to report to the designated area for testing, fails to provide a sample suitable for testing and/or attempts to alter or tamper with the specimen.
All information relating to a UDS, or other screening, shall remain confidential, to the extent permitted by law. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall dispense of all positive UDS or other screenings in accordance with Section IV of this policy.
IV. VIOLATIONS OF POLICY.
Any enrolled medical student who violates this policy shall be reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs shall direct the student to the Conduct Committee who will make recommendations to the Advancement Committee.
The Advancement Committee will recommend a course of action to the Dean. This includes, but is not limited to, an independent third-party provider selected by the Conduct Committee for evaluation and/or treatment. The student shall fully participate in the recommended evaluation or treatment plan determined and administered by the third-party provider, or its designee, as a condition of continued enrollment in the School.
A student’s cooperation and compliance with the third-party provider and evaluation or treatment plan shall be monitored by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. A student’s failure to cooperate or fully participate in the evaluation or treatment plan may be reported by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs to the Advancement Committee for disciplinary action.
Any matter reported to the Advancement Committee shall be processed in accordance with the Committee’s guidelines for disciplinary matters, as stated in Academic Guidelines for Advancement Dismissal and in Probation & Special Placement.
Such guidelines may include, but are not limited to, the right of the School to dismiss an enrolled medical student.
Students are encouraged to self-identify to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs when they have problems with drug or alcohol abuse. Students who self-identify may be granted a leave of absence to secure treatment without prejudice to their academic standing. In such cases, confidentiality will be maintained, to the extent permitted by law, by the School of Medicine administration.
Composition of Conduct Committee = 3 faculty members, 1 of whom must be an addictions specialist. This is an ad hoc committee composed of faculty who have volunteered to participate on appeals/conduct committees.