4.01 Responsibilities of Teachers and Learners

Office of the Registrar

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4.01 Responsibilities of Teachers and Learners

The teacher-learner relationship confers rights and responsibilities on both parties. Behaving in a way that embodies the ideal teacher-learner relationship creates a culture of mutual respect, minimizes the likelihood of student mistreatment, and optimizes the educational experience.

Responsibilities of Teachers

  • Treat learners fairly, respectfully, and without bias related to their age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, religion, or national origin.
  • Distinguish between the Socratic method, in which insightful questions are a stimulus to learning and discovery, and overly aggressive questioning, in which detailed questions are repeatedly presented with the end point of belittlement or humiliation of the learner.
  • Give learners timely, constructive, and accurate feedback and opportunities for remediation, and submit grades and evaluations within 4 weeks of the end of a course or clerkship.
  • Be prepared and on time for all activities.
  • Provide learners with current material and information and appropriate educational activities.

Responsibilities of Learners

Once a student is formally admitted to Harvard Medical School (HMS), our responsibility is to ensure that our graduates meet certain standards of professional conduct and responsibility. These standards include reliability, honesty and integrity, responsibility in professional relationships, responsibility in relationships with patients and families, and responsibility related to personal health issues and substance abuse.

Achieving these standards is a developmental process that takes place over the four (or more) years of medical student status. The School is committed to providing structured opportunities for students to reflect uponand learn fromlapses in compliance with these standards.

Students will be evaluated repeatedly on the basis of these standards, examples of which include the following:

Reliability

  • Can be depended upon to do his/her duty as defined by course and clerkship objectives;
  • Completes tasks she/he was assigned or agreed to perform;
  • Attends, is prepared, and participates in a timely fashion in all scheduled activities, including classes/lectures, tutorials, labs, clinics, rounds, etc.
  • Complies with administrative/regulatory requirements of HMS and affiliated institutions.

Honesty and Integrity

  • Is honest and ethical with regard to assignments, examinations, research activities, and patient care;
  • Acknowledges mistakes, reflects upon them, learns from them, and takes active and effective steps to correct them;
  • Adheres to ethical and legal standards of conduct.

Responsibility in Professional Relationships

  • Knows and acts in accordance with his/her own cognitive, physical, and emotional limitations;
  • Takes steps to act on constructive criticism;
  • Handles stress appropriately;
  • Is considerate and respectful of colleagues, sustaining collegiality faithfully;
  • Listens to and maintains effective communication with colleagues;
  • In written, voice, e-mail and other electronic communications, including blogs and social media sites, as well as in published writing, reflects thoughtfully and treats fellow students and faculty with mutual respect and understanding;
  • Uses professional judgment and respectful language when providing feedback in student surveys about courses and teachers;
  • Uses appropriate language and tact in all professional situations;
  • Does not make inappropriate demands on colleagues;
  • Does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ethnic background, political beliefs, veteran status, disability status, or any other improper basis;
  • Shows appropriate judgment in responding to unethical, unprofessional, or dangerous behavior on the part of others;
  • Comports himself/herself professionally at all times.

Responsibility in Relationships with Patients and Families

  • Knows and acts in accordance with his/her own cognitive, physical and emotional limitations;
  • Is considerate, conscientious, and respectful toward a patient’s and family’s physical needs and emotional concerns;
  • Listens to and maintains effective communication with patients and families;
  • Uses appropriate language and tact in all professional situations;
  • Keeps accurate medical records;
  • Maintains patient confidentiality where and when required and in written, voice, e-mail and other electronic communications, including blogs and social media sites, as well as in published writing;
  • Does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, religion, age, national origin, ethnic background, political beliefs, veteran status, disability status, or any other improper basis;
  • Is appropriately groomed in all professional situations;
  • Maintains appropriate boundaries in the doctor/patient relationship;
  • Comports himself/herself professionally at all times.

Responsibility Related to Personal Health Issues and Substance Abuse

  • Shows appropriate judgment in seeking evaluation and assistance if, as a result of injury, illness, emotional difficulties, or substance abuse, a student’s ability to meet academic or clinical responsibilities becomes impaired or potentially impaired;
  • Is aware that substance abuse is not compatible with professional conduct;
  • Is aware that the use of any substance in the settings of patient care and research activity is not compatible with professional conduct.

Course Directors’ Expectations of Students in Fundamentals of Medicine (FOM) Courses

In an effort to encourage a positive learning atmosphere of respect and good will among you, your classmates and course instructors, FOM course directors have developed the following expectations:

  • Attend required activities
    • Notify course director if you are unable to attend a required activity
  • Be on time to sessions
    • Be in your seat and ready to go by the time the class starts
  • Show courtesy to speakers and patients in amphitheater sessions
    • Quiet down when the session starts without needing to be asked
    •  If you are late, enter the back; do not walk in front of the speaker
  • Come prepared for class sessions
  • Complete all assigned readings, problem sets, case reviews prior to the session (whether “lecture,” tutorial, mini-case, laboratory, or focused exercise) at which they will be discussed
  • Participate actively in sessions; give your classmates an opportunity to participate
  • Use electronic devices appropriately
  •  Laptops, tablets are acceptable for accessing course materials during sessions, except during patient clinics
  • Sending e-mail, accessing social media, surfing the web for non-course-related purposes are not acceptable
  • Choose appropriate resources for course study and exam preparation
    • Resources that are approved by course directors are posted on MyCourses
  •  It is not acceptable to use old exams, study guides or tutorial materials handed down by students in previous year’s classes without permission of course director
  • It is not acceptable to distribute exams, study guides or tutorial materials to students in classes behind you without permission of course director

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