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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. 

Physicianship Evaluation Form

 To foster students’ professional growth and encourage high standards of professional behavior amongst the students, the College of Medicine course directors and faculty 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 course directors/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 on the next page.

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.

The Dean's Office recognizes that students may encounter challenges with medical and/or mental health conditions that may affect their studies and in some cases lead to professionalism breaches. Attempts will be made to first ensure that students have access to care and resources to help evaluate and address the issues. Students must be deemed fit for duty in interacting with patients and the health care system, and  when needed an evaluation may be mandated to confirm  fitness. While all attempts will be made to ensure a student's return to school if possible, the Dean's Office also recognizes that even under the best circumstances some students may not become well enough to safely and professionally continue in medical school.  (see Fitness for Duty Evaluation and Review Policy).

All of the above 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:08/15/2016 10:10 AM
 Last Comprehensive Review: August 2016

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