Professionalism

The VCU School of Medicine Professionalism Committee was formed in 2000 to study professional behavior in the medical school.

Letter from the Dean of the School of Medicine

The Dean’s letter outlines the School of Medicine Professionalism Initiative, including the Standards of Professional Behavior and the process for resolving concerns, and asks each recipient to sign-on to the initiative.

View the letter, then complete and submit the commitment form:


Pocket Cards

Pocket cards, sized to fit into white coat pockets and containing the Standards of Professional Behavior, provide a handy reference for busy medical students and faculty.

For printed copies, contact:

Debbie Stewart
Phone: 804-828-6591
Email: deborah.stewart@vcuhealth.org


Poster: Standards of Professional Behavior

Poster: Standards of Professional Behavior

Standards of Professional Behavior posters are displayed throughout the School of Medicine to reinforce the principles that characterize medical professionals.

For printed copies, contact:

Debbie Stewart
Phone: 804-828-6591
Email: deborah.stewart@vcuhealth.org

Referrals

Health, wellness and professional behavior are all interrelated.

Health, wellness and professional behavior are all interrelated. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges:

Medical school and residency training represent periods of intense study and training and can be very stressful life periods. There is a large literature on impaired physicians, addiction and substance abuse as unhealthy coping mechanisms. Identifying stressful situations early in one’s career, as a medical student or before, and providing models for healthy coping has the potential to reduce the likelihood that a physician will make poor choices later in life.

Other Referral Resources

Click the panels below for more information on referral topics.

Reporting Concerns

Information on how to report concerns is below.

Processes

  • Informal Process for Addressing Professionalism Concerns
    This process provides a confidential means for students to address concerns regarding the conduct of their teachers, whether faculty or housestaff.
    • Confidential, informal consultation with a member of the School of Medicine Professionalism Committee may help in situations where unprofessional behavior is perceived and traditional routes for addressing the issue are awkward or ineffectual.
    • Informal process guidelines [PDF]
  • The Early Concern Note provides a means for tracking and responding to student behavior, whether exemplary or problematic. Can be initiated by supervising faculty members, other faculty, housestaff, staff, fellow students, or patients.

Contacts

Hotlines

  • Medical Students:
    MCV Campus: 804-827-TALK (8255)
    Inova Campus: 703-776-TALK (8255)

    Confidential hotline for reporting mistreatment of medical students or other medical student life concerns.
  • Housestaff: 804-827-LIFE (5433)
    Confidential hotline to report work hour violations or any other resident life concern.
  • VCU Health System employees: 800-620-1438
    Anonymous compliance helpline.

Research in Progress

Poster Presentations

  • A multi-faceted approach to supporting and examining professional behaviors in a medical school. AAMC Southern Group on Education Affairs Annual Meeting: April 7–10, 2005; Winston-Salem, NC.
  • Tying it Together: Using a Website to Support Competencies in Professionalism Across the Continuum. Presented at 2003 Southern Group on Educational Affairs Conference, Key Biscayne, FL, April 24–26, 2003, and at Southern Group on Student Affairs, April 2004, Key West, FL.
  • Highlighting Professional Behavior with a Peer-Assessment in M1 Gross Anatomy. Presented at 2003 Southern Group on Educational Affairs Conference, Key Biscayne, FL, April 24–26, 2003 and at Southern Group on Student Affairs, April 2004, Key West, FL.

Resources

Click the panels below to view Professionalism resources

Standards and Policies

This section includes expected standards for behavior, attire, lifelong learning, confidentiality and humanism or sensitivity.

This section includes expected standards for behavior, attire, lifelong learning, confidentiality and humanism or sensitivity, together with guidelines of when to offer help or seek help. Listed below are additional standards and policies.

Key Standards and Policies

Related Policies at VCU and VCUHS

Professional behavior is supported by policies that can be consulted when problems are perceived.