Student Mistreatment Policy
The College of Medicine's policy on student mistreatment has three main components: a statement of College of Medicine standards of behavior, with regard to mistreatment; a description of methods used in the ongoing education of the college community concerning the standards of behavior and the process by which they are upheld; and a description of the College of Medicine process for responding to allegations of mistreatment.
The statement of College of Medicine standards of behavior with regard to mistreatment is as follows:
The University of Tennessee College of Medicine has a responsibility to foster in medical students, postgraduate trainees, faculty, and other staff the development of professional and collegial attitudes needed to provide caring and compassionate health care. To nurture these attitudes and promote an effective learning environment, an atmosphere of mutual respect and collegiality among teachers and students is essential. While such an environment is extremely important to the educational mission of the College of Medicine, the diversity of members of the academic community, combined with the intensity of interactions that occur in the health care setting may lead to incidents of inappropriate behavior or mistreatment. The victims and perpetrators of such behavior might include students, preclinical and clinical faculty, fellows, residents, nurses, and other staff. Examples of mistreatment include: sexual harassment; discrimination based on race, gender, religion, ethnic background, sexual orientation, handicapped condition, or age; and purposeful humiliation, verbal abuse, threats, or other psychological punishment. Such actions are contrary to the spirit of learning, violate the trust between teacher and learner, and will not be tolerated by the College of Medicine.
To promote an environment respectful of all individuals, the College of Medicine will provide ongoing education to students, residents, fellows, faculty, and other staff emphasizing the importance of professional and collegial attitudes and behavior. Also, the college will make available a readily accessible neutral party (called a mediator) whom students may approach if they believe they have been mistreated. A process has been established to seek reconciliation between the parties in cases of alleged mistreatment. This process seeks to protect the accuser from retaliation and to protect the rights of all parties involved in a complaint. Through these efforts the college will maintain an atmosphere essential to its educational mission in the training of physicians.
To mistreat is to treat in a harmful, injurious, or offensive way. For example:
- to speak insultingly or unjustifiably harshly to or about a person
- to belittle or humiliate or to threaten with physical harm
- to physically attack (e.g., hit, slap, kick)
- to require to perform personal services (e.g., shopping, baby-sitting)
- to threaten with a lower grade for reasons other than course/clinical performance
Individuals wishing to discuss possible violations of these policies should contact the College of Medicine Office of Student Affairs at (901) 448-5684. All inquiries will be held in strict confidence. Accusations of racial or gender discrimination or harassment are handled by the Director for the Center of Equity & Diversity. Disputes over grades are handled by College of Medicine academic policies.
To review the University of Tennessee Health Science Center's documented statement on Student Mistreatment, please point your browser to: College of Medicine Student Mistreatment Policy.