Professional Conduct

University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine (“UNR Med”) Professionalism Statement

The following statement is consistent with and in addition to Federal and state laws related to employment practices, healthcare, and research compliance requirements, the NSHE (Nevada System of Higher Education) Handbook and Code, UNR policies in the University Administrative Manual, including but not limited to 6,515: Ethical Standards in the Conduct of Research, NAC Rules for State Personnel, and NSHE Prohibitions and Penalties. For employees covered by collective bargaining agreements, management is expected to apply this policy consistent with those agreements.

Professionalism is of paramount importance to achieving UNR Med’s missions and core values. Our students, patients, faculty, staff, colleagues and community are best served by an inclusive, unified team of professionals. It is especially important that our employees and educators model our core values to cultivate a culture of respect and professional competence for our students and residents. At UNR Med, we commit to conducting ourselves professionally and ethically with colleagues, students, residents, patients, and the public. We model, promote, and advocate for a strong and visible culture of professionalism that dynamically reflects the UNR Med core values and commitment to our missions.

At UNR Med, across all disciplines and work areas, we commit to lifelong learning, effective communication and decision-making that is free of improper bias and influence.

In education, we commit to:

  • consideration of diverse experiences and perspectives,
  • timeliness, accessibility, dependability,
  • facilitation of high-quality experiences for our students and residents,
  • service as a role model,
  • setting of expectations for a respectful learning environment,
  • proactively revisiting processes and feedback to optimize learner and educator experience.

In clinical practice, we commit to:

  • delivering patient-centered care and supporting a clinical environment that emphasizes and collaboration among all team members, including the patient and care partner(s),
  • producing a high-quality experience for our patients while safeguarding the privacy and confidentiality of patient information,
  • timeliness and dependability in providing care and documenting that care,
  • participating in quality improvement initiatives to optimize the patient experience,
  • following best evidence available and exercising, compassion, and cultural humility in providing excellent patient care,
  • serving the healthcare needs of our community.

In the conduct of research, we commit to:

  • achieving research goals and objectives in both basic science and clinical research in an interprofessional environment with all involved,
  • safely and ethically conducting research related to the research process and treatment of participants,
  • conducting rigorous and reproducible data collection,
  • timeliness and responsiveness in the conduct of research related both to protocol management and patient care,
  • proactively assessing and revisiting procedures to optimize continuous quality improvement in the conduct of research and the research experience for all involved,
  • exercising, compassion, and cultural humility for participants involved in clinical research,
  • respecting the specific and unique roles contributing to the research process, e.g., students, post docs, graduate assistants, faculty, staff, subjects, animals, and administrators.

In leadership and administration, we commit to:

  • welcoming and utilizing the diverse skills and talents each person brings to our teams,
  • timeliness, responsiveness, dependability and quality in all our work,
  • responsible stewardship of our resources,
  • proactively revisiting processes and feedback to optimize the work we do,
  • modeling empathy and compassion,
  • acting as respectful collaborators with faculty, staff, students, residents, and community.

Code of Professional Conduct for Students

The professional development of medical students is an essential part of medical education. Students are expected to meet the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine standards of professional behavior as part of their professional development. Medical Student Professionalism Policy outlines the expectations and the consequences for lapses in professionalism. Reporting of unprofessional behavior involving students includes the following:

  • An online Assessment of Medical Student Professionalism form to document lapses. These reports are directed to the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs and the Director for Evaluation and Assessment in the Office of Medical Education.
  • Lapses in professional behavior for students participating in a required or elective clinical activity can also be assessed using a standard clinical evaluation. Any notation of an evaluator concern for a professionalism issue requires a detailed description. These reports are directed to the Director for Evaluation and Assessment, the Associate Dean of Medical Education and the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs. An initial professionalism report will result in a meeting between the student and the Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Affairs to discuss the matter. This meeting will be documented in a Conference Report shared with the student that will be entered into the student's academic file. Appropriate action may include referral to the SPCC, recommendations for counseling, a request for a written apology or a Fitness for Duty evaluation. When the informal mechanisms mentioned above do not lead to resolution of the incident or behavior, the following protocol will be followed as outlined in the Student Mistreatment Policy and Medical Student Professionalism Policy.

Academic Dishonesty

The University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine defines academic dishonesty in accordance with UNR's Academic Standards Policy for Students. A student found to have cheated on any academic test will be subject to automatic failure of the course. Students will be referred to SPCC under Academic Dishonesty circumstances. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be recommended by the SPCC and presented for approval by the Dean of the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine. If SPCC approves continued active student status the student will be placed on probation. If the student is permitted to repeat the course, the highest grade they can receive is a Pass. A second infraction related to academic dishonesty will result in dismissal.

Patient Care

Patient care infractions include falsifying or knowingly omitting pertinent information, lying regarding patient care, and/or conscious HIPPA violations. Students who commit an infraction will be referred to SPCC. Disciplinary action up to and including dismissal may be recommended by the SPCC and presented for approval by the Dean. If SPCC approves continued active student status, the student will be placed on probation. A second infraction related to patient care will result in dismissal.

Professional Internet Behavior

Students of UNR Med are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner that is expected of future doctors. Each student's actions will reflect the School of Medicine as a whole, and thus should reflect the professionalism and integrity which are fundamental to the values of this institution. As a representative of UNR Med, these standards of behaviors are expected in all facets of a student's life, including online.

Students are expected to apply sound judgment when using internet, email, social media, blogs, texts, or other forms of public/non-personal outlets. Each student is responsible for the material they share via the internet or other technological means (cell phones and other devices with information sharing capabilities). Therefore, it is expected that each student will conduct themselves with courtesy, respect, and foresight about how their internet and technological activity will affect themselves, other students, other school personnel, or the school in general.

Each student at UNR Med will have added privileges including a Medical School Email, access to school computers, access to useful databases and websites, and other internet resources. These resources are the property of the School of Medicine and are expected to be utilized with the behavior summarized above. Students will not use any internet resources for inappropriate means including, but not limited to:

  • Fraudulent messages – Messages sent from an anonymous name with the intention of concealing the message origin
  • Harassment messages – Messages with the intention of harassing an individual or group electronically for any reason
  • Obscene messages – Messages that contain information/material that would be considered obscene, distasteful, or inflammatory
  • Pornographic materials – Includes, but not limited to pictures, audio and video files, literature, or newsgroups
  • In accordance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) enacted by congress, students are required to abide by the privacy terms created to protect the rights of patients and the healthcare system. Health information under HIPAA is defined as: "data that relates to the past, present, or future physical or mental health condition of an individual or payment for the provision of health care to an individual transmitted or maintained regardless of its form." This information is defined to be private by law. This privacy shall not be violated by distribution or sharing of any kind, including over the internet, communication devices, or other file sharing entities.