The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences considers actions that do not align with the Code to be incompatible with the title of “physician.” As such, we all consider violations of the Code to be intolerable to the profession to which we have dedicated ourselves.
In the unfortunate instance that a student, faculty, or staff member of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences observes a violation of the Code, they are honor-bound to report that behavior. The Professional Conduct Committee (PCC) is obligated to rigorously review every violation. Each member of the PCC vows to be impartial in reviewing each reported violation of the Code.
The following is an explanation of the process by which a violation of the Code is reviewed by the PCC (an accompanying graphic for clarity may be found here).
- Reports can be submitted here.
- Upon receipt of any report of a student’s potential violation of the Code, the PCC will convene a subcommittee of three volunteer PCC student members from classes that are different from that of the investigated student. This group is referred to as the ‘Investigative Subcommittee.’
- a) This procedure will be followed unless it is impossible for this condition to be met, at which time a faculty member on the PCC will assign three students who are not in the same class as the reported student to evaluate the report.
- b) Each member of the Investigative Subcommittee will disclose any possible or actual conflicts of interest to the PCC faculty advisor.
- c) No member of the PCC may divulge information regarding investigations outside of the investigation process.
- d) If a member of the PCC is implicated in a reported violation, faculty at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences will directly oversee the investigation.
- e) Multiple reports regarding the same violation will be conducted as one investigation unless circumstances clearly delineate the necessity of another investigation. This determination will be made collaboratively by the PCC.
- The Investigative Subcommittee will meet and consider this flow chart in assessing the report. The Investigative Subcommittee will then determine if the report should be dismissed, further investigated, referred to the Student Progress Committee, or referred for professional assistance by law enforcement or other appropriate entities.
- If the Investigative Subcommittee concludes that further investigation is required, that Investigative Subcommittee will conduct an investigation, hold a hearing, and reach a resolution.
- a) Reports may be included on the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE) of the investigated.
- i) It is the duty of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences to candidly communicate Code violations to future employers and residency positions because prospective educators and advocates require a truthful, equitable evaluation of our students.
The Code may be consulted here.
If an investigation is initiated, an impartial report will be written by the Investigative Subcommittee delineating the facts it gathered regarding the incident. The investigation report will contain:
- An executive summary that includes the identities of the Investigative Subcommittee.
- An unedited copy of the reported violation, including the name of the individual who reported the violation.
- Notes of conversations with the investigated and the reporter(s). The reporter(s) will be contacted first, followed by the investigated, followed by any witnesses or other persons with pertinent information, or in the order most logically appropriate.
- a) It is at this point in the investigation process that the investigated will be made aware that a report was made about them alleging a violation of the Code.
- b) Reporters will not be anonymous to the investigated.
- c) The Investigative Subcommittee may interview other people relevant to the case, but will make a reasonable effort to keep the number of investigated parties to a minimum.
- d) Conversations with involved parties may be in-person, but are not required to be in-person.
- e) If the Investigative Subcommittee finds the report(s) to be without merit, the charges will be dropped, no annotation will be made on the investigated individuals’ MSPE, and no hearing will be arranged.
Following an investigation for which the Investigative Subcommittee determines that a hearing is necessary, a hearing will be scheduled with a quorum of the PCC. The following guidelines are to facilitate an equitable hearing:
- Quorum for a hearing must include at least the Investigative Subcommittee, two of the three PCC faculty advisors, at least one additional PCC member from the non-involved classes, and the Student Affairs Dean advisor.
- 2The reporter(s) and the investigated are expected to be present, but failure to attend the hearing will not prevent the hearing from occurring.
- The hearing is to be led by a member of the Investigative Subcommittee.
- These hearings will not be recorded; however, another member of the Investigative Subcommittee will take notes during the hearing.
The hearing is to include the following components:
- A review of the Investigative Subcommittee’s investigation by members of the quorum.
- A verbal reading of the Investigative Subcommittee’s investigation report in the presence of the quorum and the investigated and/or reporter as appropriate.
- A formal statement and presentation of pertinent evidence from the reporter(s).
- A time for questions from the members of the PCC to the reporter(s).
- A formal statement and presentation of pertinent evidence from the investigated.
- A time for questions from the members of the PCC to the investigated.
- A time for final discussion between the PCC, investigated, and/or reporter(s) as appropriate.
- A time for final deliberation between members of the PCC with respect to possible recommendations.
- Dismissal of the investigated and/or reporter(s) for composition of the hearing report.
- a) The hearing report should include the Investigative Subcommittee’s investigation report, the names of all in attendance, notes regarding each of the above components of the hearing, and a recommendation to the Student Progress Committee. The hearing report should include the fact that an annotation in the MSPE may be made and also include guidance for professional development opportunities.
- b) The hearing report will be shared with all of those who participated in the hearing, as well as the Student Progress Committee.
After the hearing is concluded and the hearing report is disseminated to the aforementioned parties, the Student Progress Committee will make the final decision regarding the outcome. All individuals who participated in the hearing will be informed of the final decision of the Student Progress Committee by a member of the PCC.
Probity dictates that a first-time violation of the Code may result in both annotation of the violation on the MSPE and meaningful action on the part of the investigated that can include, but is not limited to: counseling, a leave of absence, professional development seminars, volunteer work with communities or individuals, as well as public or private apology.
- a) Guidelines on specific, meaningful remediations for particular violations will be offered to tailor development to the individual.
- b) The report may conclude that a hearing be called to address any party involved in the Investigative Subcommittee’s investigation.
- c) Purposeful misuse of the PCC is, in and of itself, a violation of the Code.
- d) This report will be shared with the investigated, the reported, PCC representatives, and PCC faculty.