Student Services

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 “Expectations of Professional Behavior and Student Conduct,” the characteristics mentioned above, abuse of power (discrimination and sexual harassment, breach of confidentiality), misrepresentation, impairment (from substance abuse), and lack of professionalism. Unprofessional behavior can result in actions that include placement of a Professionalism Concern Note (PCN) in a student’s permanent file, discussions with University leadership, notation in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE), referral to the Committee for Academic and Professional Progress (CAPP) or dismissal from the University.

Purpose

The purpose of the PCN is to confidentially report instances or patterns of substandard professional behavior and to initiate a process for discussing, understanding and remediating unprofessional behavior in order to develop professional, humanistic and thoughtful health care providers.

Process

  • Concerns about student professional academic behavior may arise from a faculty member with whom a student interacts during a course or another faculty member, clinical staff member, preceptors, 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 Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services.
  • It is suggested that before filing a PCN, a faculty member filing the PCN may hold a face-to-face meeting with the student to discuss the concern. 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 using the PCN: Student Response online form.
  • Peers may also file a PCN when unprofessional behavior is observed. Peers may file these concerns anonymously but are encouraged to discuss the issue with the Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services so that the most effective method for remediating the behavior can be identified.
  • The PCN must be filed within 30 days of the occurrence of the episode.
  • A confidential, restricted database is used to track Professionalism Concerns.

RESPONSES TO PCNS

The Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services will review each PCN and contact the student regarding the concern. The PCN process will allow for the following interactions with students:

First PCN

An initial PCN filed may be discussed by the person filing the report and the Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services to determine if the report should be filed and appropriate action to be taken. When a first time PCNs is filed, the student will be notified via email and given an opportunity to submit a response to the allegations. Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, there may be no further action following notification and unless a second report is filed, the report will NOT be placed in the student’s permanent file. 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.

Second PCN

Second PCNs will result in a notification via email, an opportunity to submit a response to the allegations, and a required meeting with the Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & 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. Depending on the seriousness of the allegation, there may be no further action following the meeting with the Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services, and the report will NOT be placed in the student’s permanent file. 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.

Third PCN

Third PCNs will result in notification, an opportunity to submit a response to the allegations, a required meeting with the Senior Executive Director of Academic Affairs & Student Services and a decision regarding whether to forward the aggregate professionalism concerns for review by the Committee on Academic and Professional Progress (CAPP). If a report is referred to CAPP for review, the committee will proceed as under current policy.

CONTACT

Office of Student Services
Phone: 330.325.6735
Email: studentaffairs@neomed.edu

OFFICE OF STUDENT Services

Northeast Ohio Medical University