COM Student Handbook 

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Standards of Conduct for the Appropriate Treatment of Medical Students in the Educational Setting

The  University  of  South  Alabama  College  of  Medicine  has  approved  the  following policy for standards of conduct in the teacher-learner relationship.

The University of South Alabama College of Medicine has a commitment and a responsibility to foster the development of professional and collegial attitudes and behaviors among teachers and-learners needed to provide a safe and effective learning environment to foster the ultimate in compassionate healthcare by all members of the college of medicine community. The community is defined by inclusion of all medical students, graduate students and fellows, resident physicians, faculty, and other staff that participate in the educational and training process. The University of South Alabama community as a whole is dedicated to creating an environment where each individual is valued and can succeed. Our institutional ethic compels us to foster the best possible environment for doing our work as educators, learners, and supporters of the educational process. When our members are prevented from doing their best, the entire community is diminished. 

Our commitment to be a diverse and inclusive campus relies on all community members to do their part. While no set rules or policies can wholly govern human conduct, civility requires respect and a thoughtful and careful balancing of different points of view.

The American Association of Medical Colleges states, “Mistreatment, either intentional or unintentional, occurs when behaviors show disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. Examples of mistreatment include: sexual harassment; discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity, sex, age, or sexual orientation; humiliation; psychological or physical punishment; and the use of grading or other forms of assessment in a punitive matter.”

A respectful environment exhibits and promotes the following values:

  • Displaying personal integrity and professionalism.
  • Practicing fairness and understanding.
  • Exhibiting respect for individual rights and differences.
  • Demonstrating harmony in the working and educational environment.
  • Respecting diversity and difference.
  • Being accountable for one’s actions.
  • Emphasizing communication and collaborative resolution of problems and conflict.
  • Developing and maintaining confidentiality and trust.
  • Achieving accountability at all levels.

For more information on delineation of mistreatment, reporting mechanisms, and responding to allegations, please click on the following link.

Conflict Resolution Council

When a formal complaint cannot be resolved by the, informal measures, the Dean and the Associate Deans, in conjunction with the ombudsperson, will select a five member conflict resolution council. These members should be diverse and selected among pre-clinical students, clinical students, pre-clinical faculty, clinical faculty, and administration. The ombudsperson is not a member of the council but may be present at council meetings. The council will then select its own chair to preside over deliberation. Minutes will be recorded with transcribed correspondence.

The council will meet within fourteen days of being selected. They will consider the investigative report of the ombudsperson or his designee and the written submission of both the complainant and respondent. After reviewing all pertinent information, the council may dismiss the complaint at this point if the council determines the complaint to be frivolous, incredulous, or without merit. 

The council will prepare a written report of its findings, conclusions, and recommended course of action. This report will then be provided to both complainant and respondent for review and comment. The written comments of both parties must be received by the Dean of the College of Medicine within ten business days.

If not appealed, the decision of the council will be forwarded to the Dean of the College of Medicine and/or the Student Promotion and Evaluation Committee for final resolution. The Dean will then be notified of the results in writing.