Modified from ACGME “Compact between Resident Physicians and Their Teachers”
To meet their educational goals and the medical school’s objectives, medical students must participate actively in the care of patients and must assume progressively more responsibility for that care as they advance through their training. In supervising medical students, faculty, residents and other students must ensure that medical students acquire the knowledge and skills while demonstrating the appropriate attitudes in each required and elective component of the curriculum. Throughout this process teachers and learners must adhere to the highest standards of quality and safety in the delivery of patient care services. Teachers are expected to nurture the values and behaviors that strengthen the doctor-patient relationship, demonstrate the Biopsychosocial approach and sustain the profession of medicine as an ethical enterprise.
All teachers must be committed to maintaining high standards of educational quality. A medical student’s educational needs should be the primary determinant of any assigned patient care services. Medical students must be mindful that they have responsibilities to their patients and these always take priority over purely educational considerations.
Medical students must learn in clinical settings epitomizing the highest standards of medical practice. Indeed, the primary obligations of institutions and individuals providing medical student education is the provision of high quality, safe patient care in a respectful and professional learning environment. Teachers accept an obligation to ensure high quality medical care in all learning environments.
Medical students are especially vulnerable and their well-being must be accorded the highest priority. Given the uncommon stresses inherent in fulfilling the demands of their education program, medical students must be allowed sufficient opportunities to meet personal and family obligations, to pursue recreational activities, and to obtain adequate rest. This is accomplished through the adherence to medical school policies on duty hours.
Obligations of Teachers
- As role models for our medical students, we will maintain the highest standards of care, respect the needs and expectations of patients, and embrace the contributions of all members of the healthcare team.
- We pledge our utmost effort to ensure that all components of the educational program for medical students are of high quality, including our own contributions as teachers.
- In fulfilling our responsibility to nurture both the intellectual and the personal development of medical students, we commit to fostering academic excellence, exemplary professionalism, cultural sensitivity, and a commitment to maintaining competence through life-long learning.
- We will demonstrate respect for all medical students, residents and faculty as individuals, without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, disability or sexual orientation; and we will cultivate a culture of tolerance among the entire staff.
- We will do our utmost to ensure that medical students have opportunities to participate in patient care activities of sufficient variety and with sufficient frequency to achieve the competencies required by their chosen discipline.
- We will provide medical students with opportunities to exercise graded, progressive responsibility for the care of patients to meet the education program objectives. We will do our utmost to prepare and include medical students to function effectively as members of healthcare teams.
In fulfilling the essential responsibility we have to our patients, we will ensure that medical students receive appropriate supervision for all of the care they provide during their training.
We will evaluate each medical student’s performance on a regular basis, provide appropriate verbal and written feedback, and document our assessment.
Obligations of Medical Students
- We acknowledge the fundamental obligation of physicians—to place patients’ welfare uppermost; quality health care and patient safety will always be our prime objectives.
- We will put forth our utmost effort to acquire the knowledge, clinical skills, attitudes and behaviors required to fulfill all objectives of the educational program and to achieve the competencies deemed appropriate for each component of the medical school curriculum.
- We embrace the professional values of honesty, compassion, integrity, and dependability.
- We will adhere to the highest standards of the medical profession and pledge to conduct ourselves accordingly in all of our interactions. We will demonstrate respect for all patients and members of the health care team without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, economic status, disability or sexual orientation.
- We learn most from being involved in the direct care of patients and from the guidance of residents and faculty and other members of the healthcare team. We understand the need for supervision of our work with patients.
- We accept our obligation to secure direct assistance from faculty or residents whenever we are confronted with situations or clinical decisions that exceed our confidence or skill to handle alone as outlined in the Medical Student Honor Code/ Patient & Student Safety.(Consultation: Students should seek consultation and supervision whenever their participation in the care of a patient may be inadequate because of lack of knowledge and/or experience.).
- We welcome candid and constructive feedback from faculty, residents, peers and members of the health care team who observe our performance, recognizing that objective assessments are indispensable guides to improving our skills.
- We also will provide candid and constructive feedback on the performance of our fellow students, of residents, and of faculty, recognizing the life-long obligation of physicians to participate in peer evaluation and quality improvement.
- We recognize the rapid pace of change in medical knowledge and the consequent need to prepare ourselves to maintain our expertise and competency throughout our professional lifetimes.
Medical school and university guidelines have been shared with the faculty, residents and students.
Concerns about violations of the Teacher-Learner policy or concerns about potential mistreatment should be directed to the designated ombudsperson. Students and teachers should contact the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education (SADMSE) Dr. David R. Lambert in the Offices for Medical Education. Students should also notify their Advisory Dean. See the Reporting Violations chart for additional individuals that are available to assist.
The basic science course directors and clinical clerkship directors are also options for the initial contact. They are responsible for prevention of mistreatment of students in the courses and clerkships. The SADMSE will be the contact person for issues that occur in all electives.
Student concerns that are not satisfactorily addressed via the proposed course/clerkship grievance procedure will be reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Student Education. If further action is warranted, the SADMSE will take the appropriate steps to resolve the problem(s).