Positive Learning Environment and Mistreatment Prevention

Policy 630.00

Policy Statement

The Robert Larner, M.D. College of Medicine at The University of Vermont is committed to maintaining an environment in which faculty, fellows, residents, students, nurses, other health care professionals and staff work together cooperatively to further education and research and to provide the highest level of patient care, whether in the classroom, the laboratory, or the clinical setting. Our goal is to train physicians to meet the highest standards of professionalism and practice in an environment where effective, humane, and compassionate patient care is demanded and expected. We affirm our commitment to creating and maintaining a culture of fairness and respect for every individual, without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, or disability, recognizing that an appreciation for the value of diversity is an essential component of medical training.

Mistreatment of students or of any other member of the Larner College of Medicine community is damaging to the learning environment and as such is not tolerated. Mistreatment is defined as behavior, either intentional or unintentional, that shows disrespect for the dignity of others.  This may include, but is not limited to: public berating and humiliation; intellectual bullying, deliberate and repeated exclusion of students from reasonable learning opportunities, and the expectation that students carry out personal tasks in order to cull favor or avoid explicit or implicit criticism. Disrespectful behaviors may also include inappropriate sexualized comments, advances, as well as intimidation or discrimination on the basis of unlawful criteria.  Frank formative feedback and constructive criticism are essential for learning and should not be confused with mistreatment. 

To assure the adherence to the principles described above, teachers and learners must be familiar and compliant with the following Larner College of Medicine and University of Vermont policies:

  1. Procedure for Reporting Violations of the Positive Learning Environment and Mistreatment Prevention Policy
  2. Policy on Standards for Professional Code of Conduct
  3. Statement on Medical Professionalism
  4. Tenets of Professionalism
  5. University of Vermont Policy Statement on Equal Opportunity in Educational Programs
  6. University of Vermont Sexual Harassment and Misconduct Policy
  7. University of Vermont Discrimination and Harassment Policy
  8. University of Vermont Policy on Amorous Relationships with Students

Applicability of the Policy

All students

Related Larner College of Medicine Policies

Related University of Vermont Policies & Resources

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

  • 3.5 Learning Environment/Professionalism
  • 3.6 Student Mistreatment


  • 5/20/2014 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/19/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/18/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Hyperlinks updated (UVM migration) [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 2/16/2021 Policy Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight

Office of the Dean (Director of the Learning Environment)

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