Reporting a BCM community member’s lapse in professionalism is easily achieved by contacting either the Integrity Hotline at (855) 764-7294 or visiting http://bcm.ethicspoint.com. The hotline is staffed 24/7, and reports can be anonymous. All reports are confidential. Students may also want to visit the Student Grievances website and the Integrity Hotline Policy: Reporting Improper Activity or Wrongdoing (login required) for additional information that may be helpful prior to contacting the Integrity Hotline.
A report made through either Ethics Point or the Integrity Hotline about a medical student’s unprofessional behavior is forwarded to the Director of Medical Student Professionalism for review and triage to the appropriate responding entity.
The Director of Medical Student Professionalism categorizes a medical student’s alleged breach of professionalism as a low, moderate, or serious behavior. The approach to each breach level is explained below:
Low level breaches
- Examples: punctuality issues, personal phone calls during educational time, or unprofessional appearance.
- Response: The Director of Medical Student Professionalism will meet individually with a student accused of a low-level breach. The meeting is not punitive but is meant to afford the student an opportunity to share his or her perception of the alleged breach, identify an stressors that may have contributed to the behavior, and help the student to gain insight into the unprofessional nature of the behavior (if the allegation is substantiated). No report is made to a Dean or the Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement.
Moderate level breaches
- Examples: repeated minor offenses or an unexcused absence from required curricular element.
- Response: The Student Professionalism Response Intervention Team (SPRINT), led by the Director of Medical Student Professionalism, meets with the student. The meeting is not punitive but is meant to afford the student an opportunity to share his or her perception of the alleged breach, identify an stressors that may have contributed to the behavior, and help the student to gain insight into the unprofessional nature of the behavior (if the allegation is substantiated). No report is made to a Dean or the Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement.
Serious Level breaches
- Examples: repeated moderate offenses, illegal activity, including failing to report allegations of illegal activity in a timely manner, intoxication in clinical/learning setting, destruction of property; bullying, committing violent act, mistreating others, lying, cheating, falsifying records, or plagiarizing.
- Honor Council Jurisdiction: Any allegation that involves dishonesty, such as lying, cheating, plagiarizing, defaming, or falsifying academic or medical records, is sent to the Medical Student Honor Council for fact finding. If the allegation is substantiated, and the student is found to have violated the BCM Honor Code, the student’s name and the Honor Council report will be forwarded to the Committee on Student Promotions and Academic Achievement via the Associate Dean of Student Affairs.
- Not Within Honor Council Jurisdiction: All other serious level breaches will be sent directly to the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (or designee) for investigation and response. Some serious breaches implicate the safety of the learning and clinical environment and require either placing a student on administrative leave or subjecting the student to the Adverse Action of Suspension as specified in the Student Progression and Adverse Action Policy (28.1.05 - login required) pending investigation.
- A breach of professionalism may result in course failure independent of academic performance. Furthermore, the Committee on Student Promotions & Academic Achievement may determine that a student’s serious breach of professionalism standards warrants an Adverse Action (see Student Progression and Adverse Action 28.1.05 – login required) of Probation or Dismissal. Serious level breaches of professionalism that may lead to an Adverse Action include, but are not limited to, the following:
- acting unethically
- violating the law
- violating the Code of Conduct
- violating the Honor Code
- falling to meet the School of Medicine Technical Standards
- violating the Respectful & Professional Learning Environment Policy 23.2.01 (login required) with a serious breach
- violating the Social Media Policy (login required) with a serious breach
- violating the Policy Regarding Harassment, Discrimination and Retaliation (login required)
- violating the Sexual Misconduct and Other Prohibited Conduct Policy (login required)
- violating the Compact Between Teachers, Learners and Educational Staff with a serious breach
- lying, cheating, defaming, plagiarizing, or falsifying academic or medical records
- engaging in patient care activities without appropriate supervision or through false representation of clinical competency or role on the healthcare team
- willfully destroying property
- intentionally or recklessly violating rules of patient confidentiality
- presenting to duty in a condition of intoxication or other impairment
- engaging in bigoted, discriminatory, or harassing behavior
- engaging in disorderly assembly on campus or otherwise misusing or misappropriating BCM property or facilities
- failing to report allegations of criminal behavior
- failing to meet academic responsibilities
- failing to meet clinical responsibilities
- failing to pay invoices owed to BCM
- engaging in other behaviors compromising the public trust that are inappropriate for a medical professional