In 2013, 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, specific mistreatment guidelines were established.
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 (Professional Conduct Comment Form)
This is a confidential, web-based form for individuals to report both exemplary behaviors and lapses in professionalism. These forms are reviewed by the Professionalism Program who then determine the appropriate personnel empowered to investigate the complaint. The Professionalism Program follows up on each complaint and documents that the concern was addressed. The Program tracks all open and resolved complaints to identify trends among faculty, residents, or specific work and learning environments (departments, clerkships, etc.) that may require more in-depth evaluation and education. The intent of the Professionalism Program is not punitive. Studies have shown that the vast majority of healthcare providers self-correct after they learn that certain actions or behaviors were considered unprofessional or offensive. Any amount of information may be reported; even reporting the location or course where the event happened is useful.
The forms are confidential but not anonymous. If criminal behavior is reported, the Professionalism Program Chair will ask Information Technology to link the form with the email so that more information can be obtained and a report filed with the appropriate authorities. Since its inception in 2013, the PP has never had to ask IT to identify the submitter.
To further protect students, Professionalism Comment Conduct forms about students are not viewed by those on the committee who regularly provide support and guidance to students: The Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Admissions, the Senior Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education, and the Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs. Complaints about students will be reviewed by the PP after these individuals have been excused; the form may be forwarded to that student's Student Affairs/House dean for a confidential discussion.
Reporting exemplary professional behavior is valuable and much appreciated. Allrecipients of a form describing exemplary professional behavior receive a formal letter of acknowledgement form the Professionalism Program. The letter is also copied to that person's supervisor or college administrator as appropriate (e.g., for students, the letter would be copied to their student affairs/House dean; for residents and fellows, to their program director; for faculty, to their section chief or department head, etc.).
Other Reporting Options
Students may report incidents to their Societies Mentor, any course or clerkship director, their student affairs/house dean, the curricular affairs dean, the vice dean for education or another trusted faculty member/COM-T administrator. That person, with permission from the student, is able to fill out a Professionalism Conduct Comment form on behalf of students. This is useful even if that person has resolved the issue, as it allows the COM-T to monitor for similar recurrent behavior as above. Students may also use resources and reporting mechanisms provided by the UArizona main campus Dean of Students Office (https://deanofstudents.arizona.edu/)
Residents and fellows may report to their program director, department chair, the senior associate dean for graduate medical education, the vice dean for education or another trusted faculty member/COM-T administrator. That person, with permission from the resident or fellow, is able to fill out a Professionalism Conduct Comment form on behalf of residents and fellows. This is useful even if that person has resolved the issue, as it allows the COM-T to monitor for similar recurrent behavior as above.
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.
The UArizona Ethics and Compliance Hotline
This is a fully anonymous, 24/7 program to report concerning behavior. It is availabe for use by all UArizona students, faculty and staff. The reports are managed by Lighthouse, a fully independent company hired by UArizona to ensure anonymity. Reports may be submitted electronically or by phone. The reports are brought back to UArizona and ultimately directed to the appropriate UArizona unit or college. https://compliance.arizona.edu/hotline
The UArizona Office of Institutional Equity
The OIE is a resource for all UArizona students, faculty and staff. The office provides support, resources and reporting options especially for those that inovolve Title IX, discrimination, or harrassment. equity.arizona.edu
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.