As students of the Keck School of Medicine at USC, in our final year of study, having completed all tasks set before us in a timely fashion and in a most professional manner, we feel that we have earned the right to receive treatment befitting of our station. The make up assignments levied for the ethics sessions on September 15 and February 9-10 were conceived in an entirely punitive manner, without care or concern for our personal and professional development. Every student that missed the sessions did so with the permission of the administrative bodies of our school due to prior commitments. These obligations were not frivolities, but rather activities in which we, the participants, were representing our school in a professional manner. This representation occurred largely at outside institutions, either in the form of residency interviews or sub-internships. These commitments were not within our power to reschedule and were the product of the hard work and training that we have engaged in for the past four years. The seminars missed consisted mainly of the presentation of information on a given theme. Students who attended these sessions were not required to write papers on the information presented, they were to solely absorb said information. The students in attendance were also excused from other clinical duties at USC. Students who unfortunately missed the sessions were not excused from the work of sub-internships or researching a residency program. Furthermore, the make-up assignments do not merely call for the absorption of material, but in addition, call for students to expound on the information in a 10 to 20-page thesis. This additional work can only be viewed by those forced to perform it as punitive in nature. But what are we being punished for Are we being scolded for representing our school in a positive light While such a solution may seem applicable to a grade-school student playing hooky, we find it has no respectable place in our prestigious institution or in our distinguished class. We are aware that the seminars, which were missed, required a great deal of planning by the administration, and we are grateful for the chance to gain academic and professional enrichment. As we have been involved in shaping our education for the last 4 years, we have agreed on alternative make up assignments such as reading selected papers on the themes presented or watching filmed versions of the seminars. We are affixing our names to this petition in solidarity to affirm our right to fairness and hope that the administration and faculty will agree to a more reasonable assignment.
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