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Principles of Professionalism

These are our guiding principles for professional behavior that we strive to hold each other accountable to. If all faculty abide by these principles, UMSOM will be an environment that is fair, inclusive, welcoming to faculty from all backgrounds. In the spirit of creating an inclusive work culture, we expect that any violations of these principles will be reported.

Respect for Persons

Respect for persons must be observed as a core value for everyone in the School of Medicine. Respect for persons includes multiple facets: Everyone working in medicine must respect and value patients, families, and colleagues, regardless of their personal ethics or beliefs. This includes honoring patient confidentiality and providing patient-centered care with selfless service and devotion. Everyone is entitled to be respected, and thus be treated respectfully, fairly, courteously, and with civility in every circumstance. Individual feedback or criticism, whether verbal or written, should be constructive and given privately. We expect faculty to:

  • Avoid condescending, offensive or derogatory remarks, generalizations or tone, verbal or written.
  • Treat others with respect and dignity
  • Respect other’s privacy and modesty
  • Welcome and include everyone regardless of age, sex, race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity)
  • Avoid verbal tirades or rants directed at groups or individuals
  • Never attack others verbally or physically or threaten the safety of another person in word or deed
  • Avoid behaviors or actions which constitute verbal, physical, psychological, or sexual harassment.
  • Be mindful of position of authority and not use this for sexual or romantic ends
  • Avoid bullying or intimidation
  • Give only constructive criticism so as not to insult, intimidate, patronize, undermine confidence in, or impute incompetence, inferiority, or stupidity
  • Correct unintentional microaggressions as soon as they are recognized and to avoid and report intentional microaggressions.

Integrity and Honesty

Integrity and honesty are expected in all professional areas. Specifically, acting with truthfulness, honesty, fairness, courtesy and justice towards everyone, whether patient or colleague, is expected at all times. In terms of scholarly discovery, data must be presented and interpreted with integrity, honesty, and objectivity. Anyone in a leadership role must reflect on their own biases as an evaluator, and either work to eliminate bias, or recuse themselves from the evaluation. We expect faculty to:

  • Demonstrate honesty
  • Not mislead others intentionally
  • Treat others fairly and equitably
  • Avoid and report cheating, plagiarism, or misrepresentation/fabrication of performance or data
  • Give proper appropriate credit to colleagues or collaborators
  • Not misrepresent or distort research results in presentations, publications, or in communications (verbal and written) to the public or press


All members of the SOM must exhibit responsible behavior for self and others. This is manifested in general by demonstrating regard for laws and property. Following rules, as well as local, state, and federal laws is expected. Persons are to demonstrate responsibility for their own actions and behaviors, as well as for the actions and behaviors of their peers. SOM faculty who also work at UMMC are further bound by the UMMC Code of Conduct. We expect faculty to:

  • Adhere to UMB and UMSOM rules and regulations
  • Respect UMB or UMSOM property
  • Not Intentionally or unintentionally abuse leadership or authority

Self-Awareness, Self-Reflection, Composure, Self-Control

As leaders in healthcare, we must demonstrate and continually work to improve our self-awareness, self-reflection, and self-control to remain professional and composed under stress and in difficult circumstances. This includes an obligation to make time to become aware of deficiencies in one’s self, and to endeavor to correct them. In this area, needing assistance is expected.

Compliments should focus on performance and ideally should be given in a group setting. Compliments not relating to performance should be carefully evaluated prior to being given to avoid possible perception of harassment. We have the difficult task to maintain professional composure under stress at all times. Stress can arise from multiple sources – fatigue, pressure, personal problems, work events, and even societal events.

We must endeavor to recognizing our own stress and to recognize that adequate care for others cannot be given unless we are well. It is important for us to obtain help or assistance when ill, struggling, distraught, or overwhelmed with personal problems. It is our duty to prioritize our own mental and physical health to remain effective in our roles. Thus, appropriate coping mechanisms include taking time off work, taking leave, or seeking out other assistance from EAP. We expect faculty to recognize stress or burnout in self or others and reach out for help.