If You Feel You Are Being Mistreated or Harassed:
SAY NO: Whenever possible, tell the offending party that his or her behavior is unwelcome and that you want it to stop
- SEEK HELP: For a confidential consultation, contact the Coordinator or one of the Directors, Student & Resident Affairs, College of Medicine; the Associate Dean, Medical Education; the Coordinator of Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Services, or seek assistance from another University official.
KEEP A RECORD: Write down the details of incidents and how they were handled.
(From the U of S Discrimination & Harassment Webpage)
Mistreatment is defined on the Association of American Medical Colleges Graduation Questionnaire (2011) as follows:
“Mistreatment either intentional or unintentional occurs when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. Examples of mistreatment include sexual harassment; discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation; humiliation, psychological or physical punishment; and the use of grading and other forms of assessment in a punitive manner.”
The AAMC provides the following examples of mistreatment:
- Public belittlement and humiliation
- Threatened with physical harm
- Asked to perform personal services
- Denied opportunities because of gender
- Denied opportunities because of race or ethnicity
- Asked to exchange sexual favors for grades/awards
- Subjected to unwanted sexual advances
The Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago, has developed the following rubric to help students and faculty better communicate about inappropriate behaviors.
|M||Malicious Intent||On the first day of third year, the ward clerk says to the student, “I can tell you guys are newbies,” then offers to help the students find a computer station.||Resident purposely gives student misinformation before rounds. Student overhears resident laughing about messing him over.|
|I||Intimidation on Purpose||Student working with the chairman of surgery says he feels nervous about operating with him since the chairman can "make or break" his career.||Resident tells a student that they intend to make them cry before the rotation is over.|
|S||Sexual harassment||Male student asked not to go into a room because a female patient only wants a female to examine her.||Student subjected to offensive sexist remarks or names.|
|T||Threatening verbal or physical behavior||A student is yelled at to "get out of the way" by a nurse as a patient is about to be shocked during resuscitation.||An attending grabs the student's finger with a clamp OR tells them they are an "idiot" after they could not answer a question.|
|R||Racism or excessive discrimination||Attending gives student feedback on how to improve performance.||Student subjected to racist or ethically offensive remarks or names.|
|E||Excessive or unrealistic expectations||Student is asked by an attending to review an article and present it on rounds to the team.||A resident tells a student that it is their job to perform rectal exams (necessary or not) on all the patients admitted to the service.|
|A||Abusive favors||A student is asked to get coffee for themselves and for the team prior to rounds since the resident did it yesterday. The team gives the student money.||A student is asked to pick up an attending’s dry cleaning.|
|T||Trading for grades||A resident tells a student that they can review and present a topic to the team as a way to enhance their grade.||A student is told that if they help a resident move that they will get honors.|
If you feel you have been mistreated, please report it immediately. The College of Medicine takes any mistreatment concerns very seriously and will respond promptly with appropriate action to any concerns brought forward. Students may want to just talk about their experience confidentially or they may want to explore options, or move forward with a full enquiry into the matter. Please contact the Coordinator or one of the Directors of Student and Resident Affairs or the Associate Dean, Medical Education. Both formal and informal support/help can be provided. Unreported incidents deny you the help you need, hurt future victims of the same practice, and allow the offending person to continue their behavior.