Procedures

Procedure Available to Medical Students for Filing Reports of Mistreatment and/or Unprofessionalism:

The Office of Educational Affairs hears, evaluates, and responds to reports of mistreatment or unacceptable behaviors directed at or witnessed by medical students.

Medical students can make reports to the Office of Educational Affairs using the “Student Listening Post” web site http://www.med-ed.virginia.edu/listen/. Students can choose whether or not to include their name on reports made through the “Student Listening Post.” In addition, medical students can report unacceptable behavior through the clerkship evaluations that they complete in OASIS. Reports filed through OASIS are received in real-time by the Office of Educational Affairs if the questions regarding student mistreatment or unprofessionalism are answered affirmatively. OASIS reports received by the Office of Educational Affairs do not contain the name of the student completing the evaluation. While anonymous reports limit the type of investigation and response available since the source of the information is unavailable, this type of reporting provides a view of the learning environment and allows monitoring for early trends of potential problems. Medical students can also make reports about mistreatment or unacceptable behaviors in person or by phone or email to the Office of Educational Affairs, through the Assistant Dean for Medical Education, Lesley Thomas, available at (434) 924-1864 or llt6p@virginia.edu.

The University also has a web site for all students for reporting bias complaints: http://www.virginia.edu/justreportit   Further, Medical Center Policy 0262 http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/docs/manuals/policies/mc provides another means by which to note complaints of unacceptable behavior involving members of the Clinical Staff, GME Trainees, or Allied Health Professionals. Reports made through University or Medical Center processes are handled by the University or Medical Center, respectively. They are not reviewed by the Office of Educational Affairs unless the report also comes to that office separately, or is referred to the office by the University or Medical Center per their policies and procedures.

Additionally, the University Ombuds, Brad Holland, holds weekly office hours within the Health System. The services of the Ombuds are independent of the University administration and confidential to the extent permitted by law. Note that the Ombuds must report sexual misconduct disclosures (Title IX). For more information, visit http://eocr.virginia.edu/ombuds.

Confidentiality and Required Reporting by the Office for Educational Affairs:

Reports of mistreatment or unacceptable behavior are handled confidentially to the extent possible given the office’s obligation to review the report and send it to the appropriate body for investigation, as described in more detail below. There are, however, exceptions, such as if the alleged offense falls under the University Policy on Sexual and Gender-Based Harassment and Other Forms of Interpersonal Violence and the University deems itself required by law to investigate and take reasonable action, or if the alleged offense falls under the University’s Preventing and Addressing Discrimination and Harassment (PADH) policy, or other offenses that would require reporting based on legal or ethical responsibilities, including those identified in Medical Center Policy 0262.

Process:

Reports of mistreatment or unacceptable behavior submitted via OASIS or the Listening Post will be sent automatically to the Assistant Dean for Medical Education. By design, reports from OASIS and the Listening Post do not contain the name of the student making the report unless the student self-identifies in the report. When reporting to other groups is required, e.g. the Title IX Office, the Office of Equal Opportunity and Civil Rights (EOCR), the University Office of the Dean of Students, students will be informed of these automatic follow-up reporting requirements if they have made their identity known to the Office of Educational Affairs.

OASIS and Listening Post reports first will be reviewed by the Assistant Dean for Medical Education to determine whether the report falls within the purview of the Office for Educational Affairs. (If not, the Assistant Dean will assure that the report has been sent to the appropriate unit. For example, OASIS reports dealing with curricular issues are accessible to the appropriate System Leader or Clerkship Director, and may be sent on to the Curriculum Committee.) Reports will also be reviewed to determine whether they fall under the purview of University or Medical Center policies. If so, the policy and procedures specified for those types of reports will be followed. If the student has self-identified, they also will be referred to additional resources for any support needed.

The Office of Educational Affairs forwards reports to the appropriate persons for investigation and remedy. In general, reports are sent to departments, units or instructors for investigation after the time period for grade submission has ended. However, the decision to take immediate action in response to a report is the responsibility of the Office of Educational Affairs who may use discretion in deciding the timing of releasing a report to a department or unit for investigation and in deciding how to respond to a report. Depending on the nature of the complaint, the reported allegation will be forwarded for further investigation any of the following: course/system directors, clerkship directors, department chairs, residency program directors, the senior associate dean for education, the senior associate dean for faculty affairs and faculty development, the Health System Peer Support and Triage Committee, the Professional Nursing Staff Organization, and/or the GME/housestaff office. These reports will be forwarded without redaction. The Office of Educational Affairs will follow up with units regarding the findings of the unit’s investigation, how the allegation was handled by the unit, and results. Data regarding departments or units receiving multiple or trending allegations of misconduct will be sent to the School of Medicine Dean and the Dean’s Cabinet for immediate intervention. All reports will be reviewed by the Dean with department chairs at the Department Annual Reviews, where remedial actions and improvement metrics will be set, if warranted.

The School of Medicine, University, and Medical Center have non-retaliation policies. Any reports of actual or perceived retaliation will be handled according to the institution’s non-retaliation policies.

The Assistant Dean for Medical Education will maintain all reports, including but not limited to those received via OASIS and the Listening Post, as well as all documentation pertaining to actions taken and outcomes. The Assistant Dean for Medical Education will keep the Senior Associate Dean for Education regularly apprised of pertinent incidents.

Clerkship and elective directors have access to OASIS reports after grades officially have been recorded.