Addressing Moderate Lapses in Professionalism

professionalism  Baylor College of Medicine created a novel process to identify and evaluate professional behaviors of their undergraduate medical students and to implement policies to address breaches in professionalism.  A committee of five faculty members experienced in ethics and or behavioral sciences was formed to evaluate alleged professionalism occurrences.  An on-line, confidential reporting system was employed alerting the committee of potential breaches.  The committee then rates the alleged offense as mild, moderate, or major.  A record is kept of mild acts and, unless a second report is received, no further action is taken.  Major transgressions are reported directly to the Dean of Student Affairs.  Breaches which are considered moderate result in a face to face meeting between the committee and the student, giving the student a chance to explain the alleged infraction.  The committee also discusses action plans with the student to prevent reoccurrences.  The meetings are intervention sessions using guided reflection, as opposed to disciplinary sessions.  From 2008–2013, the committee received 79 reported concerns and conducted 20 student interviews for moderate offenses.  Only one of these students incurred additional professionalism reports.  This novel approach to professionalism breaches received positive feedback from both the students and administration at Baylor. — Lee Ann Schein, Ph.D

Gill AC, Nelson EA, Mian AI, Raphael JL, Rowley DR, Mcguire AL.Med Teach. Responding to moderate breaches in professionalism: An intervention for medical students.2015 Feb;37(2):136-9.

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