In 2014, the College of Medicine created and implemented a professionalism reporting and support mechanism. The first step was the creation of the Professionalism Program (PP). The PP members established an online comment and reporting system for both exemplary behaviors and lapses of professionalism. In addition, they created the Professional Support Team, identified an ombudsman, and established mistreatment guidelines.
Professionalism PrograM (PP)
“The purpose of the Professionalism Program is to promote and reward excellence in professional behavior and ensure both compliance with policies and procedures addressing professional conduct, as well as to address inappropriate conduct.” This group includes both UA CoM and Banner members.
Online Comment and Reporting System
This is a confidential, web-based form for individuals to report both exemplary behaviors and lapses in professionalism. These forms are reviewed by the PP who then determine what actions, if any, are to be taken.
Professional Support Team (PST)
Once a comment form has been received and reviewed by the PP, those that involve medical students may be referred to the Professional Support Team. This team is made up of five members from Curricular Affairs (Amy Waer, Sonia de Leon, Diane Poskus, T. Gail Pritchard, Paul Weissburg). Each comment is reviewed by the team and appropriate interventions are put into play.
The ombudsman is appointed and provides confidential support to students who may not know how to best address an issue or may not want to go to a Dean or Director or use the comment form. The ombudsman provides support, but cannot take action or act as an advocate for the student. The ombudsman for the College of Medicine is William Adamas-Rappaport, MD.
Mistreatment Guidelines (click on this heading to go to definitions)
The University of Arizona College of Medicine – Tucson Professionalism Program and the College’s administrators are dedicated to improving and advancing our learning environment and to reducing/eliminating behaviors toward our learners that are not conducive to their growth and professional development. These guidelines are in addition to the University of Arizona’s Non-discrimination and Anti-harassment policy, which prohibits discrimination, including harassment and retaliation, based on a protected classification, including race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or genetic information. Any suspected violation of this policy will be referred to the Office of Institutional Equity.
Cup of Coffee Conversations for Promoting Professionalism
In 2011, Vanderbilt University Medical Center established “a system of peer reporting of perceived disrespectful and unsafe conduct” which emerged from a reporting system using feedback from patients and their families. Since the establishment of this peer-reporting system, a majority of those individuals who had a Cup of Coffee conversation were able to self-correct and had no further reports during the following year. The success of this program at Vanderbilt and other institutions suggested to the PP that the Cup of Coffee Conversations for Promoting Professionalism was a viable professionalism tool for the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson campus.