Medical Student Mistreatment 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.


Definition of Mistreatment Against Students
UCSF defines Mistreatment 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 discrimination based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, or sexual orientation; sexual harassment; psychological cruelty; and physical punishment. Specific examples of mistreatment include (but are not limited to):

  • spoken to in a sarcastic or insulting manner
  • intentionally neglected or left out of the communications
  • subjected to offensive remarks or names
  • belittled or humiliated
  • required to perform personal services (i.e. babysitting, shopping)
  • Denied opportunities for training or rewards based on gender, race or ethnicity

Related LCME Standards

3.6 Student Mistreatment 


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


  1. The school will provide mechanisms for students to report mistreatment and procedures for intervention
  2. The school will regularly monitor the learning environment to ensure a respectful educational environment.


Procedures for Students Reporting Mistreatment 

View Reporting Mistreatment Grid

1. Students Use SAFE for Immediate Real-Time Confidential Reporting*: The SAFE (Supporting A Fair and Equitable Environment) reporting form is a confidential survey that is immediately sent to the Associate Dean for Students.

The Associate Dean for Students decides on appropriate intervention.  If the report involves a Title IX or Title VII complaint, it is sent to the Office for Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination.

2. Students Can Report to the Associate Dean for Students

Students can confidentially * report concerns about mistreatment to the Associate Dean for Students. The Associate Dean for Students oversees the respectful learning environment for medical students.

3. RESPECT Questions in Faculty and Resident Teaching Evaluations

Students are asked throughout each rotation to evaluate each of their clinical teachers (e.g. faculty, residents) on two items: 1) whether the teacher treated the student with respect, and 2) whether the teacher treated others with respect. The Associate Dean for Students receives reports of faculty or residents who receive low scores ("1", "2", or “3”) on either of the two Respect questions. These reports are also sent to the clerkship director and coordinator. To protect confidentiality, students’ names are not associated with teaching evaluations.

These low scores are brought to the attention of the clerkship director to provide feedback to individual residents and faculty and to determine whether these teachers are the appropriate individuals to be interacting with medical students. 

Note: Concerns about the curriculum generally are handled via course and clerkship evaluations.

4.  Report to the UCSF Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD). 

Students may contact the UCSF Office for the Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) directly. The UCSF Care Advocate, Office of the Ombudsman, and Student Health and Counseling Services are available to discuss options, including filing a formal complaint. 

5. For students wishing to discuss options with someone who is not a mandatory reporter several resources are available:

*Deans, faculty, staff, residents, and fellows are mandated reporters to the Office of Prevention of Harassment and Discrimination (OPHD) for Title IX or Title VII issues; confidentiality is not guaranteed if the issues meet Title IX or Title VII requirements for reporting. For example, offensive remarks or names, or the denial of training opportunities because of membership in a protected category

Procedures for Monitoring Impact of Discrimination or Bias Reporting

Deans Review:

  • Aggregated Data on Immediate real-time feedback/Interventions (SAFE, Low Respect Scores)* The Associate Dean for Students will meet with the relevant course/clerkship director to review aggregated data on their respective course/clerkship and develop a plan for intervening with and remediating the faculty.
  • Annual Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) Medical Student Graduation Questionnaire national comparison data. This national questionnaire asks graduating medical students across the country to report 1) Frequency with which students experienced mistreatment, including being denied opportunities for training based on race, gender and ethnicity or being exposed to offensive or racist comments 2) students’ knowledge of their school’s student mistreatment policy and reporting mechanisms 3) Frequency with which students reported incidents of mistreatment and if they did not report mistreatment, the reasons why they did not.

Deans Report:

  • Semi-annual Curriculum Governance Reports: The Associate Dean for Students presents a Student Mistreatment summary report to the School of Medicine’s Committee on Curriculum and Educational Policy (CCEP) every year and to the F1, F2 and Career Launch operations committees, curriculum Executive Committee and student curricular governance and student government every six months.  These summary reports include summary data from the SAFE reports, RESPECT faculty evaluations, and the AAMC Graduation Questionnaire. The curriculum committees review the data to compare UCSF against national benchmarks and trends across courses and clerkships. If a course/clerkship has consistent issues, the Associate Deans will meet with the course/clerkship director and department chair to develop a remediation plan.