Investigations

Students who are accused of violating the Code of Professional Conduct are considered innocent until such time that a preponderance of evidence supports the allegations.

All students who are asked to speak to the Professional Conduct Committee may find it useful to re-read the Code of Professional Conduct to gain a better understanding of the investigative process. The following summary is not intended to be a substitute for that document.

The Investigation

  • Any members of the Professional Conduct Committee with a conflict of interest, including those representatives of the same class year as the alleged offender and the complainant, will not participate in any phase of the investigation or hearing. Representatives not directly involved in the investigation or hearing do not have access to any information gathered in the investigation.
  • If accused of a violation of the Code of Professional Conduct, a student will be contacted by a member of the Investigative Subcommittee and informed of the allegation.
  • The accused student will be offered the opportunity to be interviewed by the Investigative Subcommittee where they may present their account of the events in question as well as relevant evidence. The student may request that additional individuals be interviewed by the Subcommittee to provide additional information relating to the case.
  • The accused student may be asked to provide consent for the Subcommittee to obtain documents and records relevant to the case.
  • The Subcommittee will interview other people relevant to the case including the complainant and other involved parties. The Subcommittee will make a reasonable effort to keep the number of involved people to a minimum.
  • If the Investigative Subcommittee finds the charges to be without merit, the charges will be dropped and no hearing will be arranged. The accused student will be notified of this in writing.

The Hearing

  • If the charges are found to have merit by the Investigative Subcommittee, a Hearing will be scheduled where they will present the case to the full Professional Conduct Committee. These hearings are strictly confidential, and are not recorded.
  • The accused student will be provided access to all materials gathered or discovered during the course of the investigation prior to the Hearing. These materials MUST be brought to the Hearing and returned to the Committee for appropriate disposal. Failure to do this may be considered an additional breach of the Code of Professional Conduct.
  • The accused student will be offered the opportunity to appear before the Committee to answer questions and to speak on their own behalf. They may, but are not required to, bring an advocate to the Hearing. This advocate may not function as an attorney, but may be questioned by the Committee and will have a chance to speak on the student’s behalf.
  • The complainant will also be offered the opportunity to separately appear before the Committee and may bring their own advocate
  • After all testimony has been heard, all non-Committee members will be excused. The Committee will then hold a closed meeting closed meeting to discuss the details of the complaint and develop recommendations.

Resolution

  • The committee will develop recommendations, based on the information from the investigation and hearing. These recommendations will strive for restorative justice and prevention of future problems, rather than merely punishment. As such, recommendations may not be limited to those described in the Code of Professional Conduct, but may include actions, such as counseling, that are appropriate to the individual case.
  • Recommendations will be based on a many factors, including the severity of the situation, the strength of the evidence, the accused’s attitude toward the situation, and past actions by the Committee or medical school involving the complainant and/or the accused.
  • The accused will be informed of the final recommendation by the Student Progress Committee, which has the authority to approve, modify, or reject them.