Conflict of Interest Regarding Evaluations
and Educational Experiences with Student Relatives

Policy 540.80

Policy Statement

To avoid conflict of interest that may result when students engage in formal educational experiences with relative certain procedures must be followed.

Credit-bearing Courses

Students may participate in didactic presentations supervised by a relative. In such instances another faculty member must grade the papers/exams and assign a final grade for the course. The instructor and chair of the department will determine the identity of the other faculty member. Students may not be under the direct supervision of a relative in clinical courses.

A faculty member or other institutional official will recuse themselves from any discussion or vote relating to a matter where there is a potential for or the existence or appearance of a conflict of interest and will state publicly that there is a personal conflict.

For the purposes of this policy, a relative is considered to be anyone with whom the faculty member has a close, personal relationship, such as a spouse or partner, member of the same household, parent grandparent, child or grandchild, sibling, aunt or uncle or a spouse, partner or child of any of the foregoing.

Bias in Evaluations Due to Relationships

The Larner College of Medicine expects both faculty and students to avoid situations where a faculty/student personal or family relationship could bias evaluations or teaching situations, or could create the appearance of bias. In case of doubt about such a situation, students should contact the Associate/Assistant Dean for Students, and the faculty member should contact their department chair. Those persons have the authority to decide whether there is a conflict or appearance of one, and how the situation will be managed. The decision may be appealed to the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education.

The Larner College of Medicine views this issue as a matter of professionalism, and all suspected violations of this policy will be reviewed by the Senior Associate Dean for Medical Education or the Dean's delegate.

Policy Elaboration

Please refer to the University of Vermont Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy for additional information about what is considered a conflict of interest. This policy statement contains non-inclusive lists of examples of situations giving rise to a conflict.

Applicability of the Policy

All Medical Students and Applicants

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Not Applicable

Related University of Vermont Policies

Related Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) Standard(s)

1.2 Conflict of Interest Policies


  • 7/21/2015 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 8/20/2019 Gender Neutral Language Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Hyperlinks updated (UVM migration) [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 11/21/2023 Policy Edited [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Assistant Dean for Medical Education (Director of Curriculum Evaluation and Assessment)

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