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Substance Abuse Violations

Approved by the Dean’s Council 6/2016.


The Wright State University Boonshoft School of Medicine (BSOM) is committed to protecting the health, safety, and wellbeing of the community we serve. As BSOM students you have pledged verbally and in writing to uphold the Medical Student Honor Code. This pledge requires you to maintain the highest standards of professional conduct academically, clinically, and socially. The pledge strictly prohibits students from participating in any clinical or academic activities while impaired as a result of ingesting alcohol or mood-altering drugs on school, hospital, or clinical premises. A student who is physically or mentally impaired by any substance (regardless if the substance is legally prescribed or illegally obtained) has the potential of endangering patients, faculty, staff, or themselves. The BSOM has a commitment to identify and provide resources to successfully rehabilitate students with substance dependency disorders (See the section on Drug Impairment in this document). Students are encouraged to voluntarily seek self-referral for substance abuse treatment prior to its report to or discovery by a BSOM administrative authority. The policy is listed below in accordance with LCME element 12.3:

"A medical school has in place an effective system of personal counseling for its medical students that includes programs to promote their well-being and to facilitate their adjustment to the physical and emotional demands of medical education."


Ingesting alcohol or mood-altering drugs on school, hospital, or clinical premises is an honor code violation. It is the ethical responsibility of our students to protect the health and wellbeing of patients by strictly adhering to the established substance abuse policies and procedures of any hospital or clinical experience site where the student is assigned. To that end, all BSOM students are required to submit a urine drug screen prior to starting the Doctoring phase of the curriculum. Furthermore, the BSOM administration reserves the right to require mandatory “drug testing for cause” at any time if a student’s professional conduct or mental behavior constitutes an elevated suspicion of substance abuse.

If a student refuses to participate in the mandated urine drug screen or has a positive drug screen, he/she will be immediately suspended from his/her clinical or academic activities and placed on administrative leave of absence pending a hearing before either the Medical Student Honor Code Council, Student Promotions Committee, Dean’s Council or Ad Hoc Impaired Student Committee. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions will determine the appropriate academic committee to adjudicate the case based on the nature of the incident(s).

When indicated, an investigation into allegations of substance abuse by a BSOM student will be conducted in a circumspect and confidential manner by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions. In the absence of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions, the Associate Dean of Medical Education will conduct the initial investigation.


Drug Screening

The Office of Student Affairs and Admissions will facilitate the scheduling of the mandatory urine drug screening of all students prior to the start of the Doctoring phase.

Substance Abuse Allegations

The Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Admissions will personally meet with the student to determine if he/she is fit for continuation of duty. If the Associate Dean deems the student unfit for duty the student will immediately be removed from the clinical and/or educational environment. Any postponement or delay in participation in drug testing will be considered a violation of the above stated policy. The Associate Dean, or their designee, will accompany the student to a designated testing facility to obtain the specified urine drug screen testing. Prior to testing the Associate Dean will document any disclosed prescribed medications or substances the student has used within 30 days of the drug testing. The Associate Dean will review with the student the policies and procedures that pertain to drug impairment. If it is deemed necessary, the Associate Dean will assist with referring the student to an appropriate treatment and/or rehabilitation resource for professional assessment of the problem.

Drug Impairment

Success in a medical education environment hinges on maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Substance abuse presents a special concern for the School because of its potentially negative impact on patient care and of medical students' potential access to controlled substances.

The School may consider dismissal or other measures to prevent licensure of students whose problems are incompatible with the responsibilities and ethics of medical practice. Students and physicians should follow the American Medical Association's Principles of Medical Ethics to identify colleagues who cannot practice medicine competently.

In accordance with the policy of Wright State University, the School does not condone violations of federal, state, or local law. The University reserves the right to inform civil authorities should the law be violated. Illegal use, possession, or distribution of drugs also may be cause for suspension or dismissal.
In addition to the Wright State University policy regarding alcohol use, the School does not condone the use of alcohol or mood altering drugs on school, hospital, or clinical premises while students are on duty or on call in a clinical rotation.

Treating Drug Impairment

The School endorses treatment of chemical dependency, addiction, or alcoholism as it does for treating any psychological or physical impairment. Constructive interventions are designed to assure that recovering students can continue their medical education without stigma or penalty.

The student must maintain school standards of performance and behavior. Continuation of medical studies will depend upon successful completion of treatment and an appropriate program of aftercare and monitoring.

How to Report a Possible Drug Problem

Faculty, students, or staff who have concerns about unprofessional or self-destructive behaviors of peers, including substance abuse, addictions, on- or off-campus or on the internet should use mature judgment. If this self-regulating person-to-person interaction does not resolve the concern, the observer should report it as soon as possible, with specific details to the most relevant person in authority, whether an examination proctor, faculty member, preceptor, course director, ombudsperson or follow the University policy found at Wright State Raider Cares.

Faculty, students, or staff who are concerned about a student's use of drugs or alcohol should contact the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions. Such reports will be held in confidence unless the information must be used in the course of due process.

The Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions will examine the information and, when necessary, consult with appropriate experts. If further action is warranted, the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and Admissions will recommend to the Dean of Medicine that an ad hoc Committee on Drug Impairment be formed to review the case.

Ad Hoc Impaired Student Committee

If serious or recurrent behavior problems and/or questions of professional competence exist, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Admissions or the Student Promotions Committee (SPC) may appoint an ad hoc Student Mental Health Committee to review the circumstances and recommend actions. The Committee will consist of four faculty members plus one faculty or staff member selected by the student. The Committee's recommendations could include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Any of the actions described previously;
  • Indefinite leave of absence with specified conditions;
  • Required clinical evaluation;
  • Alteration of the student's academic program; or
  • A recommendation of Dismissal. 

Required Clinical Evaluation

A required clinical evaluation will be imposed with discretion and under the following terms, which will be made clear to the student and to the treating clinician:

  • The student may select a clinician from a list provided by the Office of Student Affairs and Admissions.
  • The clinician is serving as an agent of the School to assess fitness for duty and must be knowledgeable of the medical education process. The School will pay for the evaluation.
  • The evaluation report will be forwarded to the Associate Dean. Information will be limited to that which is necessary to clarify the student's ability to function as a medical student, including any related treatment requirements.
  • An ad hoc Medical Student Mental Health Committee convened by the Associate Dean or SPC and recommending a required evaluation will review the evaluation and make recommendations for action.

Appeal Process

To appeal a decision by the Associate Dean of Student Affairs & Admissions or the SPC requiring a clinical evaluation, treatment, or leave of absence, students may appeal to the Dean of Medicine in writing within seven business days of receiving the decision regarding their status. After reviewing the relevant documents, the Dean of Medicine will notify the student, by letter, of the final decision.

Revised and Approved by FCC on 10/28/2020

Last edited on 12/02/2020.