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Medical Education
Medical Student Education

Medical Student Mistreatment Policy

I. Standard of Conduct
All members of the educational community in the UCSF School of Medicine have the right to function in a respectful educational environment. This environment will be conducive to learning, respecting the diversity of opinion, race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, disability and socioeconomic status. The environment will be free of belittlement, humiliation, or hostility. 

II. Purpose of Policy
The School is committed to addressing the issue of mistreatment of students by residents and faculty. The purpose of this policy is to provide mechanisms and procedures for students to report mistreatment against them or mistreatment that students observe against others. This policy also informs students what happens to their reports of mistreatment.

III. Definition of Mistreatment Against Students
Mistreatment is defined on the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire as follows: “Mistreatment arises when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. It can take the form of physical punishment, sexual harassment, psychological cruelty, and discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age or sexual orientation”.

Specific examples of mistreatment include (but not limited to) being:

  • belittled or humiliated
  • spoken to in a sarcastic or insulting manner
  • intentionally neglected or left out of the communications
  • subjected to offensive remarks or names
  • required to perform personal services (i.e. babysitting, shopping)

IV. Procedures for Reporting Mistreatment Other than Sexual Harassment or Discrimination

A. Evaluation Procedure to Report Mistreatment
Students evaluate faculty and residents with whom they have worked through E*Value. The mechanism for medical students to report mistreatment is by the use of the two “Respect” questions below, which are embedded in the evaluation: 
      1. I was treated with respect by this individual.
      2. I observed others (students, residents, staff, patients) being treated with respect by this individual.

De-identified “Respect” responses are reviewed by curriculum committees and used as course benchmarks. The Associate Dean for Students receives the low “Respect” responses, which are defined as scores of 1 or 2 (scale 1-5, 5=most respectful). 

The Associate Dean for Students monitors who receives low scores ("1" and "2") on the two Respect questions. These low scores are brought to the attention of the departments in order to provide feedback to individual residents and faculty and to determine whether these teachers are the appropriate individuals to be interacting with medical students. 

B. Informal Procedure to Report Mistreatment
Students can report concerns about mistreatment or their learning environment to any of their instructors, faculty, Advisory College Mentors/Student Experience Faculty Advisors, or the Associate Dean for Students. Students may also make reports confidentially or anonymously via the student representatives to curriculum committees or the Student-Faculty Liaison Committee; the student representatives will then take these reports to the Associate Dean for Students.

C. Administrative Procedure for Reporting Mistreatment
The Associate Dean for Students is the academic administrator responsible for the oversight of the respectful learning environment for the medical students. Students may report mistreatment directly to Associate Dean for Students should they choose not to use the reporting mechanisms described in A or B above or in addition to using those reporting mechanisms. The Associate Dean for Students and/or the student can also report mistreatment directly to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs and request an evaluation for investigation of faculty misconduct according to the Faculty Code of Conduct (http://www.ucop.edu/acadpersonnel/apm/apm-015.pdf) and related campus procedures.

V. Mechanism for Investigating Mistreatment
The Associate Dean for Students is responsible for the oversight of mistreatment against students. The Associate Dean for Students will monitor trends by departments, as well as by individual residents and faculty. The Associate Dean for Students may report trends to the appropriate department chairs (or their designee) and/or to the associate deans at the involved sites so that the departments or deans can investigate the issues and decide if and what action is warranted. The Associate Dean for Students will also report individual reports of mistreatment that come through mechanisms other than the “respect” evaluation tool described above to the appropriate department chairs (or their designee) and/or to the associate deans at the involved sites.

VI. Procedures for Reporting Mistreatment based on Sexual Harassment or Discrimination
UCSF is committed to a community free of harassment. Because offensive sexist remarks may constitute sexual harassment, reporting of this category needs to be made to the Office of Sexual Harassment Prevention and Resolution: http://shpr.ucsf.edu, phone (415) 476-5185, confidential fax (415) 502-4233.

UCSF prohibits discrimination or harassment of any person based on membership in a protected category such as race, ancestry, color, religion, national origin, age over 40 years old, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, medical condition (cancer), sex (includes pregnancy, childbirth or related medical condition), genetic information, and marital status. Because offensive remarks or names or the denial of training opportunities because of membership in a protected category may constitute discrimination or harassment, reporting of these incidents needs to be made to the Office of Diversity and Outreach: http://diversity.ucsf.edu, (415) 476-7700, DiversityOutreach@ucsf.edu.

The Advisory College mentors or the Associate Dean of Students can also assist students to connect to the right resources.

Additional resources include:

Office of Student Life: http://studentlife.ucsf.edu/policies

Office of the Ombuds, which offers a safe, confidential place to discuss campus-related issues and explore possibilities for informally addressing concerns: http://ombuds.ucsf.edu

 

Updated May 2014

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