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MUSC Bulletin | College of Medicine

College of Medicine | Professionalism

Students’ Professional Behavior
 Just as it is expected that faculty, staff and residents will interact with students in a professional and respectful manner, it is expected that all College of Medicine students interact with patients, faculty, residents, staff, community-based preceptors, and other students in a professional manner.  The COM Institutional Learning Objectives outline the expected competencies for Professionalism and Professional Development as follows:


  • Demonstrate honesty, integrity, respect, and compassion in all interactions with patients, peers, faculty, staff, and other health care professionals in all settings.
  • Demonstrate ethical, patient-centered decision-making, informed consent, and respect for autonomy and confidentiality of patient information in all settings (i.e., clinical, academic, electronic, or web based).
  • Demonstrate sensitivity and responsiveness to the personhood of the patient inclusive of culture, race, ethnicity, spirituality, gender, sexual orientation, age, physical characteristics, medical condition, disabilities, socioeconomic status, family-context and other aspects of personal and health beliefs, practices, and, decisions.
  • Demonstrate accountability for academic, patient care, and professional responsibilities including concern for societal needs.
  • Demonstrate responsiveness to patient needs that supersedes self-interest.

Personal and Professional Development:

  • Acknowledge personal limitations and mistakes openly and honestly, seek and respond to feedback in a positive way and demonstrate flexibility and maturity in adjusting one’s behavior.
  • Demonstrate strategies for analyzing, identifying, and improving personal deficiencies in knowledge and skills by setting learning and improvement goals.
  • Demonstrate a commitment to personal health and well-being, and recognize and address personal attributes, attitudes, and behaviors that may adversely influence one’s effectiveness as a physician.
  • Define professional impairment and describe the role and responsibility of health care professionals in addressing impairment and unprofessional behavior in colleagues and in the profession.
  • Use self-awareness and assessment data of one’s knowledge, skills, and attributes to identify appropriate career options.
  • Recognize that ambiguity is part of clinical health care and respond by utilizing appropriate resources in dealing with uncertainty.

Physicianship Evaluation Form

 To foster students’ professional growth and encourage high standards of professional behavior amongst the students, the College of Medicine faculty, educators, and administrators have adopted a feedback system to inform a student when his or her behavior has been unprofessional. The Physicianship Evaluation Form is intended to provide students and educators/faculty a formal opportunity to discuss perceived transgressions of professional behavior on the part of the student. The form is not intended to be punitive, but rather to encourage self-assessment and improvement where needed to ensure positive professional growth. A copy of the form is provided at the link below.

In addition, when there has been a pattern of concern, either documented by the Physicianship Evaluation Form or other communication to the Dean’s Office, about a student’s professional behavior, the student will be recommended to meet with the Professional Standards Subcommittee. 



Professional Standards Subcommittee

The Professional Standards Subcommittee is a subcommittee of the Student Progress Committee of the College of Medicine. The Subcommittee is chaired by the chairperson of the Student Progress Committee. The Subcommittee is comprised solely of active members of the Progress Committee who have been selected to review all reported cases where patterns of unprofessional behavior have been exhibited by a student. The committee will meet with the student, review concerns, and provide guidance and instruction for professional development.

Professionalism Concerns
A student will be placed on a mandated behavioral monitoring contract if the Professionalism Subcommittee of the Progress Committee or Associate Dean for Student Affairs deems that the student's professional behavior is unsatisfactory. Without demonstrable improvement during the monitoring period, the student may be eligible for dismissal and can be placed on professionalism probation. The student will be informed of the professionalism monitoring in writing and will also be notified of the removal of the probationary status in writing. The length of the probationary period will be decided by the Professionalism Subcommittee in each individual case, taking into consideration the particular circumstances of that case in consultation with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs. Upon graduation with the M.D. degree, only information that is required to be disclosed will be shared with third parties.

Each student on professionalism probation is required to meet with the Associate or Assistant Dean for Student Affairs to develop a Behavioral Contract. Adherence to the Behavioral Contract is mandatory for continuation in medical school. Failure to do so may result in dismissal from medical school. Students are required to play an active role in the development of the Behavioral Contract.

All monitoring plans are intended to increase the likelihood of a student's success and best ensure the academic and professional behavior becoming a physician. Any mandated professionalism monitoring or other adverse action will be disclosed on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) at the time of application for residency (as required).



 Last Published with Edits:September 30, 2016 9:05 AM
 Last Comprehensive Review: September 2016

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