Professionalism concern note
Insofar as all aspects of a student’s behavior reflects on that student’s qualifications and potential to become a competent professional, any dishonest, unethical, irresponsible, or criminal conduct is viewed as unprofessional behavior and which is within the purview of the Colleges of Medicine, Pharmacy and Graduate Studies faculty. Specific issues of concern include not adhering to the characteristics mentioned above, abuse of power (discrimination and sexual harassment, breach of confidentiality), misrepresentation, impairment (from substance abuse or mental illness), and lack of conscientiousness. Unprofessional behavior can result in actions that include placement of a Professionalism Concern Note (PCN) in a student’s permanent file, notation in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), or dismissal from the University.
The purpose of the PCN is to confidentially report instances or patterns of substandard professional behavior. Professionalism Concern Notes may result in a report of substandard professionalism in the student’s formal academic record and/or Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE).
- Concerns about student professional academic behavior may arise from a faculty member with whom a student interacts during a course or another faculty member, house staff member, staff member, student or patient with whom the student interacts. These individuals are expected to report their concerns to the faculty responsible for the student’s course evaluation. Faculty are expected to discuss all concerns about a student’s professional behavior both with the student and the course/clerkship director, who will decide whether to formally submit a PCN.
- If the concern for substandard behavior arises outside of a course, faculty or staff may submit the PCN directly to the director, career development and advising.
- It is expected that before filing a PCN, a face-to-face meeting between the student and the person filing the report will be held. In the sole discretion of the person filing the report, other persons may be asked to attend. If a face-to-face meeting is not feasible, an explanation of the reason(s) and ways in which the student was contacted must be included. At times, this process of discussion and fact-finding may result in the decision not to file a PCN.
- The PCN will consist of a narrative statement describing the incident using the University’s official PCN reporting form. Optionally, the student may also file a commentary which could include a different side of the story, report of extenuating circumstances and/or discussion of remediation.
- The PCN must be filed within 30 days of the occurrence of the episode.
The assistant dean of students for the COM and/or the senior executive director of academic affairs and student services will review each PCN and contact the student regarding the concern. Any College of Medicine student for whom a PCN is received will be required to meet with the assistant dean of students to discuss a plan for addressing the behavior, and further counseling, remediation, or formal action will be developed based on the seriousness of the concern. Any College of Pharmacy student for whom a PCN is received will be required to meet with the senior executive director of academic affairs and student services to discuss a plan for addressing the behavior, and further counseling, remediation, or formal action will be developed based on the seriousness of the concern.
Recurrent Professionalism Concerns: Reporting & Recording
- A confidential, restricted database will track Professionalism Concerns. This restricted database will list students by a code number rather than by personally identifiable information. The code numbers will be maintained by the director, career development and advising in a separate password protected file.
- An initial PCN filed will be discussed by the person filing the report and the director, career development and advising to determine if the report should be filed and appropriate action to be taken.
- If a decision is made that the initial report should be filed but no formal action taken against the student unless a second report is filed, the report will NOT be placed in the student’s permanent file. It will be retained in separate file until the student graduates. If no further reports are filed, the report will be destroyed when the student graduates or leaves the University. No mention of a report in this category will be made in the MSPE or on the transcript.
- Any second PCN filed will be discussed by the person filing the report, the director, career development and advising, and the chief student affairs officer to determine whether:
- The report should be filed and appropriate action to be taken
- The reports should be presented to CAPP
- Some other course of action is appropriate
- Any third or subsequent PCN will automatically be presented to CAPP
- If a report is brought up for discussion at CAPP, the committee will proceed as under current policy.