Skip to Main Content
Navigated to Ethics and Professionalism .

Ethics and Professionalism

Professionalism Assessments Beyond the Scope of Course Requirements

As future physicians, students are expected to conduct themselves in a professional manner consistent with the ethical standards of physicians. Throughout the curriculum, students are taught, assessed, and given the opportunity to remediate the professionalism competencies. Supporting students through the process of cultivating a professional identity as a physician involves collaboration among faculty and staff, the Student Honor Code Committee, the Office of Student Affairs, the ad hoc Ethics and Professionalism Committee (EPC), and the Student Academic Progress Committee (SAPC). Please refer to CUNY School of Medicine objectives on professional behavior [].

The Student Academic Progress Committee hears cases involving violations of professional behavior as brought forth by report from Medical School faculty to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, by students through the Student Honor Code Committee, or by the recommendation of the Ethics and Professionalism Committee (EPC).

An initial professionalism hearing before the Student Academic Progress Committee is convened to:

● assist the instructor, student, and other members of the academic community in resolving the issue;

● maintain a record of all such incidents involving students in the School;

● provide guidance to the academic community about the nature and impact of cheating, plagiarism, and unprofessional behavior.

The following procedures will pertain to the decision of whether to convene a Committee hearing and the rights of students charged with unprofessional or unethical behavior:

● Any charge, accusation, or allegation that a faculty or staff member wishes to lodge against a student and which, if proven, may subject a student to disciplinary action, must be submitted through a Professionalism Documentation Form. (See Section A above).

● In most cases, these reports will be reviewed by the Ethics and Professionalism Committee to determine whether to refer the case to the SAPC.

The Associate Dean for Student Affairs may refer cases directly to the SAPC

Professional Behavior Documentation Forms

Professional behavior documentation forms may be submitted online by faculty or staff.

Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to use the forms to document both commendations or lapses in professionalism. It is recommended that faculty and staff meet with the students to discuss the incident prior to submission. Professional Behavior Documentation Forms are submitted to the Office of Student Affairs electronically where they are reviewed. If the faculty and student have met during this process then students have the right to submit their comments to in response to the comments submitted by the faculty/staff member.

Completion of Course/Clerkship Evaluations

Student completion of course evaluations is mandatory and a professional responsibility. Students as future physicians have obligations to support continuous quality improvements in medical education. Student course evaluations are used extensively in annual reviews of all courses by the Curriculum Committee and the issues raised are addressed. Student who submit 80% or more of their evaluations will receive a Professionalism Commendation that will be documented in their Medical Student Performance Evaluation.

Ethics and Professionalism Committee

The Ethics and Professionalism Committee (EPC) will be comprised of members of the CUNY School of Medicine administration and teaching faculty. The EPC will be notified to review Professional Behavior Documentation Form reports for the following reasons:

● two or more notices of unprofessional behavior;

● one notice of unprofessional behavior that, in the judgment of the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, warrants involvement of the EPC;

● one notice of unprofessional behavior on which the reporter has indicated that the concern is severe enough to be reported to the SAPC.

The committee will consider relevant history and facts about the infraction(s) to determine the appropriate disposition and whether the student should be reported to the SAPC. The committee may opt to meet with the reporter, the student, and any other relevant parties prior to deciding.

The Committee may recommend any of the following actions:

● If no basis for the allegations exists or the allegations do not warrant disciplinary actions the individuals involved shall be notified that the complaint has been dismissed.

● The matter will be referred to the SAPC for review. The following matters will be referred directly to the SAPC:

o Second incidents or patterns of unprofessional behavior.

o Incidents of unprofessional behavior that take place within clerkships, LCE, EHS Fieldwork, and OSCEs.

o Any incident of unprofessional behavior that is serious enough to lead to the failure of a major assignment, course, or clerkship.

The matter will be referred to the City College Vice President of Student Affairs or the CCNY Chief Diversity Officer, if warranted.

Within one week of completing the investigation, the Chair of the EPC will deliver their recommendation to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Should the EPC determine that the issue should be reviewed by the SAPC, the EPC Chair will inform the SAPC Chair at that time.