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Professionalism

ON PRESENTING A PROFESSIONAL IMAGE

The medical school curriculum and the subsequent years of postgraduate training prepare you for the practice of medicine. What is not taught through a formal course is professionalism. From your very first day of medical school it is essential that you see yourself as a health care professional and act accordingly. Courtesy and honor are hallmarks of a professional. Please keep in mind that your colleagues' and patients' first impression of you is based upon your appearance and demeanor, and it is important that you present a professional image. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. We do not expect skirts and shirts and ties to be worn at all times, particularly since such attire may not be appropriate for laboratory courses. However, we do expect you to wear clothing that is clean and in good condition. As a medical student attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine, you have both the privilege and the responsibility of upholding the image of the many fine physicians who have preceded you.

UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND MEDICAL CENTER CODE OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT

Please click here for the UMMC's Medical Executive Committee Code of Professional Conduct.

DRESS CODE POLICY

We expect that you will adhere to the UMMC Dress CodeUMMC Dress Code‌ below when caring for patients at UMMC or any other patient care facility. In section 4.3 regarding attire, the SOM has these additional requirements and clarifications:

  • Gentlemen should wear slacks, a shirt with a collar and a tie
  • Ladies should wear a skirt or dress approaching your knees or full length slacks and a shirt or blouse with a reasonable neckline
  • You should always wear your white coat and identification tag
  • Scrubs are appropriate only with your white coat
  • You should not wear open toe shoes
  • You should wear dress shoes of a sensible heel height

The final section refers to “business casual attire.” This section is in line with our expectations for you in the classroom. The following items are also appropriate for the classroom:

  • Clean and tidy denim pants and skirts
  • Capri pants or knee length shorts
  • Tennis shoes or sneakers that are clean and in good repair

The UMMC staff and our faculty will be in contact with OSA regarding any student who does not adhere to the dress code. Possible consequences include exclusion from patient care activities and loss of credit for time missed. More serious consequences may ensue for repeated violations.

Our goal is to teach professionalism to our students and for you to begin seeing yourselves as young professional physicians in training and thus act accordingly. In addition, such habits and deportment will enable you to gain the trust of your patients so that you may build strong therapeutic alliances with them. Further, several of these measures serve to keep you safe from hazards that exist in the hospital specifically with regard to infectious agents.

OFF-CAMPUS EVENTS

When participating in off-campus events, you are permitted to represent yourself as a  UMSoM student, but you should avoid making it appear that you are in any way representing the official opinion of the UMSoM.  Remember that the Dean is the only person who can speak for UMSoM in an official capacity. It is good for you as future physicians to engage in responsible social activism. However, we expect you to conduct yourself in a professional manner,  make mature decisions and be safe. 

LEGISLATIVE MATTERS

It is the policy of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus and the University System of Maryland to have a single, unified voice for addressing matters of legislative concern with the Maryland General Assembly, local and federal governments. The Office of Government Affairs is responsible for guiding and coordinating the development and presentation of UMB's position on federal, state, and local government concerns.

Any visits or testimony with legislators during your tenure as a University of Maryland School of Medicine student MUST have prior approval. Students need to notify Kevin Kelly in the UMB Office of Government. See contact information below.

The staff in the Annapolis office will be glad to assist you with legislative matters or questions you may have:

Location: 60 West Street, Suite 220 Annapolis, MD 21401
Telephone: 410-269-5087
Fax: 410-269-1985

Approved 7-13-2015  

LIABILITY INSURANCE

In the course of providing medical care today, even as a medical student, you may possibly be sued by a patient or one of their family members who is legally designated to do so. The allegation usually is that in carrying out the duty you had to the patient, you breached the standard of care that would have been rendered by most other medical students in a similar situation, and this was the cause of the patient's injury resulting in damages. To protect you, professional liability insurance has been purchased from the Maryland Medical Comprehensive Insurance Program (MMCIP). This is a joint venture between the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and University Physicians, Inc. (UPI), established since 1985 to provide via a Self Insurance Trust professional liability insurance for most physicians and all employees providing medical/health care services at UMMS and UPI and their approved affiliates.

In order to provide advice to mitigate a serious situation or to obtain representation promptly, please contact us immediately in the event of the following:

  • Any diagnostic or therapeutic complication
  • Incident or potential liability claim
  • Contact by an attorney
  • Receipt of a subpoena or claim letter

Please call the Office of Risk Management at 410-328-4704 if you have further questions.

HEALTH INSURANCE PORTABILITY AND ACCOUNTABILITY ACT (HIPAA)

HIPAA applies to health plans, clearinghouses and health care providers who transmit protected health information. Academic medical centers like the School of Medicine who do business with or obtain PHI from them must also comply with HIPAA.

All medical students are required to be HIPAA certified.

BACKGROUND CHECKS

Any clinical training site may screen students in the same manner in which the site screens employees. Students may be required to have an additional health examination, be tested for drugs or be fingerprinted for a criminal background clearance before beginning placement. Students who cannot pass training site clearance requirements may not be able to fulfill the essential requirements needed to obtain a degree.

SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY

All University of Maryland School of Medicine students are required to strictly adhere to the School's social media policy. For the full policy, please click the link below:

University of Maryland School of Medicine Social Media Policy, which can be found on the Office of Public Affairs Website.

POLICY ON PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT EVALUATIONS AND COMMENDATIONS

As outlined in our Technical Standards, professional conduct is a requirement for matriculation and advancement at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. A Professional Conduct Evaluation (PCE) indicates that a student is not meeting requirements and requires assistance with developing these skills.

Any student who receives a PCE must meet in person with an assistant or associate dean in the Office of Student Affairs within two weeks of receipt of the PCE to discuss the evaluation and create a plan for improvement. Students who receive two or more PCEs in years one and two and subsequently receive one or more PCE in years three or four, and students who receive two or more PCEs in years three and four will automatically be recommended by the Advancement Committee for disciplinary probation. Students with fewer PCE submissions may be recommended for probation or dismissal depending upon the nature and severity of the concern.

Any grievance regarding the content of a PCE will first be discussed with an assistant or associate dean in the Office of Student Affairs. If the grievance cannot be resolved, the Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs will meet with the student to discuss. If the student feels that the PCE was submitted in an arbitrary or capricious manner or otherwise in violation of policy, the student may request a hearing with an Appeals Committee.

A Professional Conduct Commendation (PCC) reflects exemplary conduct by a student. These will also generate a meeting with an assistant or associate dean in the Office of Student Affairs to recognize and affirm exemplary professional conduct.

The submission forms for PCEs and PCCs may be found here: 

Faculty members: Please type information into the form and print. Then, sign the form, review the form with the student and have the student sign. When the form is complete, please return it to studentaffairs@som.umaryland.edu or 410-706-8311

POLICY ON INCLUSION OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT EVALUATION AND COMMENDATION REPORTS IN THE MSPE

A single PCE will not result in inclusion of concerns in the MSPE. Students who accrue two or more PCEs will be presented at the Advancement Committee with discussion regarding inclusion of comments in the MSPE. Further discussions will occur with any additional PCE submission for a given student.

PCC comments will become a part of the summary section of a student’s MSPE.