Procedure for Reporting Violations of the
Positive Learning Environment and
Mistreatment Prevention


Policy 630.10


Policy Statement


We all have a responsibility to contribute to creating and sustaining positive learning environments by following the principles outlined in the Larner College of Medicine (LCOM) Professionalism Statement and the Policy 630.00 - Positive Learning Environment and Mistreatment Prevention. In order to fulfill our responsibility, we must also have a system to respond when observing undermining behaviors. Speaking up about negative experiences contributes to building a more positive and inclusive learning culture and a kinder, safer health care environment.

Procedures & Policy Elaboration


What should be addressed?

All behaviors defined as mistreatment by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC):

  • Publicly humiliated
  • Threatened with physical harm or were physically harmed
  • Required to perform personal services
  • Subjected to offensive sexist, racial, ethnic, or sexual orientation remarks
  • Based solely on gender, race, ethnicity or sexual orientation
    • Denied opportunities for training or rewards
    • Received lower grades or evaluations
  • Subjected to unwanted sexual advances
  • Asked to exchange sexual favors for grades or other rewards
  • Abusive behavior from anyone (including patients and/or visitors)

Breaches of Medical Professionalism

Any other behavior that feels disrespectful or is intended to embarrass, belittle or humiliate.

How should I handle it?

Students experiencing or observing behavior that undermines a positive learning environment should address this behavior in a respectful manner:

The student is encouraged to discuss the behavior directly with the individual if possible. However, if the student does not feel safe doing so, they should report the incident to the University and/or LCOM through their choice of reporting mechanisms:

  • For incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment or discrimination, report to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity at the University of Vermont (AAEO) for incidents of sexual misconduct, harassment or discrimination. Medical students who wish to discuss such alleged violations without reporting to the Office of Affirmative Action and Equal Opportunity may make use of the University of Vermont Counseling and Psychiatry Services (CAPS) where the counselors will keep their discussions confidential in accordance with CAPS confidentiality policies. All other LCOM faculty and staff are required to report concerns of harassment and discrimination to the AAEO.
  • For all other learning environment concerns, report through:
    • Anonymous or confidential web-based reporting mechanism (password required), which is routed to the Director of the Learning Environment. All reports are confidentially tracked in order to target formative improvements in the learning environment.
    • Director of the Learning Environment, Associate and Assistant Deans of Students, Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, Director of Student Wellbeing or trusted advisors (i.e., Professionalism, Communication, and Reflection (PCR) mentors, Course/Clerkship Directors, Program Directors). All faculty members are required to communicate complaints of mistreatment to the Director of the Learning Environment, either directly or through the anonymous online reporting tool, for proper tracking and monitoring.
    • End of course and clerkship evaluations contain questions pertaining to experienced or witnessed unprofessional behaviors or mistreatment. These are routed directly to the Director of the Learning Environment. To protect student anonymity, the responses to these questions are not accessible to course and clerkship directors.
What happens once I submit a report?

Please refer to the algorithms provided below.

Reporting Mistreatment Flowchart
Portable Document Format (PDF) of the Reporting a Violation algorithm.


reportingmistreatmentflowchart2
Portable Document Format (PDF) of How Reports of a Violation are Addressed algorithm.

Applicability of the Policy


All faculty, staff, and students of the Larner College of Medicine, including at Affiliates.

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

History


  • 5/20/2014 Policy Adopted/Affirmed [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 2/16/2016 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/19/2018 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 8/20/2019 Gender Neutral Language Edit [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 12/17/2019 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 4/21/2020 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]
  • 6/5/2020 Policy Revised [Medical Curriculum Committee]

Policy Oversight


Office of the Dean (Director of the Learning Environment)

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