Code of Student Professionalism

Policy Manual

  • Effective Date: 01/14/2014
  1. Purpose and Background
    1. The professional development of medical students is an essential objective of medical education. Students are expected to meet University of Nevada School of Medicine (UNR Med) standards of professional behavior as part of their professional development. This policy outlines the expectations and the consequences for lapses in professionalism. This policy observes all student due process rights including notifications and appeals. See Student Due Process Policy (Live link).
  2. Revision History
    1. 1-14-14: Name Change; added 'd' under Reliability and Responsibility (M. Piasecki)
  3. Stakeholders
    1. Medical Students
    2. Staff at UNR Med and other academic institutions
    3. UNR Med Faculty members
    4. Patients and their families
    5. Health care team members
  4. Policy
    1. Students must meet UNR Med standards of professionalism to progress and graduate. These standards are in the following five domains:
      1. Integrity
        1. Act at all times in an ethical, responsible and dependable manner;
        2. Adhere to the UNR Med Honor Code; and
        3. Maintain an honest approach in all activities so as to be deemed worthy of trust.
      2. Reliability and Responsibility
        1. Complete all tasks in a timely and responsible manner;
        2. Arrive on time for scheduled activities and notify faculty, staff and peers in a timely manner prior to delays, absences and anticipated absences;
        3. Attend all mandatory classes and meetings for their full duration;
        4. Stay for full duration when attending classes and meetings, unless other arrangements have been made;
        5. Be prepared for educational activities;
        6. Respond promptly (within 48 hours) to faculty and administration requests when contacted personally or electronically;
        7. Admit errors and accept responsibility for one's actions;
        8. Respond appropriately to unprofessional or unethical behaviors witnessed, e.g. intervene, offer feedback or report to supervisor;
        9. Demonstrate self-motivation and accountability for one's own learning; and,
        10. Know the contents of the syllabi published for each course, block and rotation.
      3. Self-Awareness
        1. Identify limitations and deficiencies in one's own performance;
        2. Accept feedback and modify behavior accordingly;
        3. Maintain professionalism in interpersonal relationships, manner, appearance, hygiene and communication (including electronic communication);
        4. Maintain composure during difficult interactions;
        5. Identify and monitor personal biases that may affect professional interactions;
        6. Request help from support resources when needed; and,
        7. Maintain one's own well-being.
      4. Team Building and Communication
        1. Check and respond to UNR Med email within 48 hours;
        2. Facilitate communication among team members;
        3. Demonstrate respect and sensitivity in all communication and interactions with fellow students, faculty, administrators, staff and all members of the health care team;
        4. Demonstrate sensitivity to patients, families, faculty, peers and the health care team with regard to culture, spiritual beliefs, age, gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, diagnosis and disabilities;
        5. Accept and provide constructive and supportive feedback; and,
        6. Manage conflicts in a collegial manner.
      5. Patient Centered Care
        1. Meet all clinical responsibilities;
        2. Demonstrate compassion, integrity and respect to patients and their families, even under difficult circumstances;
        3. Discuss/refer to patients in a respectful and non-judgmental manner;
        4. Maintain patient confidentiality;
        5. Acknowledge limits of knowledge in patient care settings; and,
        6. Ensure that patient care duties will be covered when unable to fulfill responsibilities.
    2. Documentation of Professionalism
      1. Student professionalism will be documented by faculty, staff and members of the health care team using the following:
        1. Assessment of Medical Student Professionalism (hereafter "assessment") The assessment documents specific lapses in professionalism observed during curricular, co-curricular or other on-campus activities or other interactions not related to specific activities at the medical school. The assessment form is available on the Office of Medical Education (OME) website.
        2. In addition, each student participating in a required or elective clinical activity is routinely assessed by raters using a standard clinical evaluation. Any notation of evaluator concern for any professionalism issue on the clinical evaluation requires a detailed description of the concern using the assessment.
        3. Exemplary student professionalism is recognized with annual awards given to rising third year students and graduating students.
      2. Documentation of professionalism will be submitted to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs (ASA) and the Office of Medical Education (OME).
      3. Completed assessment reports will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs who will meet with the student and other faculty or administrators appropriate to the context of the professionalism concern. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will have a discussion with the student and will share the information with relevant parties. The documentation will be attached to the professionalism report(s) and entered into the student's academic file and the student will receive a copy.
      4. The Conference Report will document the meeting with the student and follow-up actions including, but not limited to:
        • No further action;
        • Referral to the Student Promotion and Conduct Committee (SPCC) for further action; and/or
        • Other action as appropriate to the situation, including but not limited to counseling, written apology by the student, Fitness for Duty evaluation or other action.
    3. A student receiving a second assessment and/or evaluator concern related to a lapse in professionalism during enrollment at UNR Med (or dual degree program) will be referred to the SPCC following UNR Med Due Process Policy.
      1. The SPCC determination may include, but are not limited to: additional evaluation(s), probation, remediation or dismissal from UNR Med for students failing to meet professionalism standards. The committee will consider the professionalism concern in terms of the severity of the concern, any pattern of behavior and the student's response to feedback. There is no minimum number of professionalism reports required for student dismissal.
    4. A student receiving two or more assessment reports or evaluator concerns related to professionalism will automatically be placed on probation for the remainder of the academic year if not dismissed.
  5. Definitions
    1. Professionalism Problems: Behaviors that deviate from UNR Med professional standards.
    2. Assessment of Medical Student Professionalism (assessment): Online form administered through the Office of Medical Education.
    3. Conference Report: Documentation of the meeting regarding professionalism behavior between the student and the administration of the medical school.
    4. SPCC: Student Promotion and Conduct Committee.
  6. Responsibilities & Procedures
    1. Block Directors, Clerkship Directors and Elective Directors will contact the Office of Medical Education directly when reporting a lapse in professionalism.
    2. The OME will communicate with other offices within the administration as appropriate.
    3. Students will respond in a timely manner to meeting requests and will make themselves available to address reported behavior.