Student Mistreatment and Other Unacceptable Behaviors

Contact Office:
Assistant Dean for Medical Education
Office of Educational Affairs
School of Medicine
PO Box 800005
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0005
Phone: 434-243-2522

Oversight Executive:
Senior Associate Dean for Education
Office of Educational Affairs
School of Medicine
PO Box 800005
Charlottesville, VA 22908-0005
Phone: 434-243-2522

Applies to:
School of Medicine faculty, staff, and students.

Reason for this policy:
A core value of the University of Virginia School of Medicine is a respectful, cooperative, safe, and professional learning environment for students in the School of Medicine and affiliated educational, laboratory, and clinical settings. This policy states the expectation of such an environment.

Policy Statement:
All faculty and staff must adhere to the School of Medicine Code of Conduct. The environment in which students learn must be free from mistreatment and other unacceptable behaviors that may be used adversely to control, influence, or affect the well-being of any student; exhibiting such behaviors conflicts with the mission and values of the School of Medicine. Allegations and complaints of the occurrence of these behaviors will be quickly and fully investigated and, if the allegations are founded, appropriate disciplinary or other actions will be initiated. The terms “mistreatment” and “unacceptable behaviors” include but are not
limited to:

• threatening or abusive language, profanity or language that is perceived by students to be demeaning, berating, rude, loud or offensive, publicly belittling or humiliating, and/or

• actual or threatened inappropriate physical or sexual contact, and/or

• other forms of behavior that are perceived as intimidation or physical or sexual harassment by students, and/or

• patterns of disruptive behavior or interaction that could interfere with teaching, learning or adversely impact the quality of care rendered to any patient, and/or

• bias, defined as a threat or act of harassment or intimidation – verbal, written or physical – which is personally directed against or targets a student because of that student’s race, age, color, disability, national or ethnic origin, political affiliation, religion, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, veteran status, or family medical or genetic information, and/or

• inappropriate or unprofessional criticism intended to belittle, embarrass, or humiliate a student or others; and/or

• requiring a student to perform menial tasks intended to humiliate, control, or intimidate the student; and/or

• requests for a student to perform personal services; and/or

• grading or assigning tasks used to punish a student rather than to evaluate or improve performance.

Information about complaints of student mistreatment or a negative learning environment will be shared only with individuals essential to achieve resolution. Students must feel free to bring complaints without fear of retaliation. No person shall be subjected to any adverse action for making a good faith report of misconduct or participating in any proceeding under this policy.

The School of Medicine prohibits retaliation directed against a student for making a good faith complaint under this policy or for assisting or participating in the complaint process. Retaliation is prohibited, even when the underlying complaint is without merit or is not substantiated.

Related Policy:
School of Medicine Code of Conduct
Procedure Available to Medical Students for Filing Reports of Mistreatment and/or Unprofessionalism – Policies and Guidelines (

Revision history: Implemented July 1, 2012, revised 8/21/15, revised
8/10/17, revised 2/12/20, revised 6/12/22

Approved 8/12/2022 by
Melina R. Kibbe, MD