Duality of Interest for Faculty Participating on Admissions and Advancement Committees


To provide expectations and requirements regarding the potential duality of interests concerning faculty participation in admissions, progress and advancement committees.


Faculty physicians serve major roles in both teaching and clinical care. From time to time, medical students, by virtue of illness, learning difficulties, or family relationships, may need to seek advice, assessment, clinical care, or guidance from faculty who teach in the medical school or have close family relationships with the student. When a student seeks care from a faculty member in the institution to which they are seeking admissions or in which they are enrolled, a duality of interest may be created. This policy is established to address the potential duality of interests that arise in these circumstances, in the interests of:

  1. Maintaining the rights of the student to confidentiality with treating providers.
  2. Avoiding the potential that the students’ admission, progress or advancement could be impacted by a faculty member’s knowledge of a student’s illness, disability, or other personal status.
  3. Ensuring compliance with LCME standards, specifically standard 12.5: Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment/Location of Student Health Records (Appendix A)


Duality of Interest

A situation in which an individual has multiple responsibilities which may result in conflicts of interest, real or perceived.


Allowable in all circumstances; at times with limitations

Must not

Prohibited from engaging in the activity

Should not

It is preferred that the individual not engage in this activity; however, circumstances may occur in which the individual may engage in this activity

Admissions Recusal

Committee members who are recused from the review of an applicant will leave the room during discussions and votes regarding the applicant.


Familial or social relationships

Close family relationships (first and second-degree relatives, including those by marriage) and social relationships (close family friends.)  Please also refer to the UC policy APM-015 that prohibits romantic and sexual relationships between faculty and students.


Related LCME Standards

12.5 Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Students Assessment/Location of Student Health Records

9.9 Student Advancement and Appeal Process

10.3 Medical Student Selection


  1. The physician has a primacy of duty to their patient and is professionally obligated to act in the best interests of their patient.
  2. The student has the right to strict confidentiality of their health and medical conditions, inclusive of both physical and mental health or learning disability.
    • The student may waive their right to confidentiality if the student believes it is in their best interest.
    • Further, limits to strict confidentiality may be necessary to ensure patient safety.  
  3. Faculty and students must recognize that the appearance of a duality of interest may interfere with fair advancement decisions for the involved student regardless of whether a conflict of interest is truly present.


  1. UCSF faculty and staff who provide or who have provided clinical care services in the preceding decade for; have a family or social relationship with; or who have a formal mentoring or advising role for a prospective or enrolled student:
    • Must recuse themselves from participating in the process of selecting that candidate for interview and any admissions deliberations/decisions about that candidate.
    • Must not participate in a Committee on Academic Progress or Committee on Academic Standards review, discussion or decision making regarding the student
    • Must not provide written or verbal statements regarding their involvement in the student’s care or the nature of the student’s condition to the School of Medicine administration or other bodies unless specifically requested by the student under their care and after the appropriate consent has been provided. Exceptions to the requirement of consent include the presence of life-threatening physical or mental conditions or other legally covered limits of confidentiality.
  2. UCSF Faculty who have participated in supervision, assessment, grading, and academic advancement decisions for a student:
    • Must not solicit that student as a patient in their clinical practice.
    • May accept a student request for medical care with the understanding that they will adhere to the directives in section A.
  3. UCSF faculty and staff with familial or social relationships with an enrolled student
    • Must not serve in any academic progress or advancement review, discussion or decision-making role for that student.
    • May serve in a mentoring capacity for situations that do not formally contribute to decisions about academic progress or advancement.


Procedures in alignment with the UCSF School of Medicine Policy on Duality of Interests Between Faculty, Staff and Students

  1. This policy will be posted with other UCSF School of Medicine policies on the UCSF School of Medicine Medical Student Education Guidelines and Policies.
  2. In the event that a faculty member realizes that they have been assigned to review a student in the context of a meeting of the Committee on Academic Progress or Committee on Academic Standards, the faculty member must immediately recuse themselves.
  3. In alignment with FERPA, the Associate Dean for Students has been identified as a need to know administrator in the School of Medicine and should be notified of any serious concerns about students by faculty or staff working with those students in an educational or mentoring role. HIPAA privacy regulations are not relevant to faculty-staff supervisory, educational, or mentoring relationships with students.
  4. Any unique situations needing clarification should be referred to the Associate Dean of Students.

Accountable Dean(s): Associate Dean of Students and Associate Dean, Competency, Assessment and Professional Standard

Related Policies:

  1. Medical Student Mistreatment
  2. Duality of Interest
  3. Student Statement of Principles
  4. University of California APM-015 

This policy is replacing the Providers of Sensitive Care policy.

Approval Date and Governing Body: September 11, 2018, CCEP