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Policy

Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment

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Updated on:

Purpose

The purpose of the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy is to articulate the College of Medicine’s stance that health professionals who provide psychiatric, psychological, or other sensitive health services to a medical student must have no involvement in assessing their academic performance or participating in decisions regarding their promotion or graduation.

This policy ensures that the Undergraduate Medical Education program meets or exceeds the following Committee on Accreditation of Canadian Medical Schools (CACMS) and Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) accreditation standards:

12.5 Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment: The health professionals who provide health services, including psychiatric/psychological counseling, to a medical student have no involvement in the academic assessment or promotion of the medical student receiving those services. A medical school ensures that medical student health records are maintained in accordance with legal requirements for security, privacy, confidentiality, and accessibility.

Principles

Confidentiality: The College of Medicine is committed to maintaining the confidentiality and security of all undergraduate medical education student records, including health-related records voluntarily submitted by medical students.

Integrity:  The Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the Undergraduate Medical Education Program.

Definitions

Conflict of Interest: in relation to this policy, a situation in which a health care professional who provides psychiatric, psychological, or other health services to a medical student becomes involved in their academic assessment, promotion, or graduation decisions.

Course Administrator:  a module, course, rotation, or program director responsible for the overall administration of the academic activity.

Scope of this Policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate students registered in the Doctor of Medicine (MD) program at the University of Saskatchewan irrespective of the geographically distributed site to which they are currently assigned.

Related policies include: Student Records Policy, Procedures for Academic Appeal, Health Information Protection Act.

Policy

1.0  Student Health Services, University of Saskatchewan
No clinician from the Student Health Services, University of Saskatchewan, shall assess a medical student’s performance or participate in decisions regarding their promotion and/or graduation if they have provided health services, including psychiatric or psychological counselling, to the medical student.

2.0  Office of Student Services, College of Medicine
No clinician from the Office of Student Affairs, College of Medicine, shall assess a medical student’s performance or participate in decisions regarding their promotion and/or graduation if they have provided health services, including psychiatric or psychological counselling, to the medical student.

3.0  Year Committees, College of Medicine
Medical student promotion and graduation recommendations are made on a case-by-case basis by individual Year Committees to the Student Academic Management Committee within the College of Medicine.

Any member of a Year Committee who has previously provided psychiatric, psychological or other sensitive health services to a medical student whose case is under consideration for promotion or graduation must declare a conflict of interest, recuse themselves from that portion of the meeting, and abstain from commenting or voting upon the individual situation.

Where quorum cannot be obtained due to multiple conflicts of interest, the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education will temporarily appoint a faculty member to serve as a proxy for the committee member(s) who declared a conflict of interest. The proxy will only be authorized to consider and vote upon promotion or graduation decisions where a conflict of interest was declared. The proxy will be removed from the committee immediately afterwards.

4.0  Student Academic Management Committee, College of Medicine
Medical student promotion and graduation decisions are made on a case-by-case basis by the Student Academic Management Committee within the College of Medicine.

Any committee member who has previously provided psychiatric, psychological or other sensitive health services to a medical student whose case is under consideration for promotion or graduation must declare a conflict of interest, recuse themselves from the portion of the meeting, and abstain from commenting or voting upon the individual situation.

Where quorum cannot be obtained due to multiple conflicts of interest, the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education will temporarily appoint a faculty member to serve as a proxy for the committee member(s) who declared a conflict of interest. The proxy will only be authorized to consider and vote upon promotion or graduation decisions where a conflict of interest was declared. The proxy will be removed from the committee immediately afterwards.

5.0  Conflict of Interest in Academic Assessment

5.1 Proactive Disclosure
The Undergraduate Medical Education Office shall inform preceptors of the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy on an annual basis

Preceptors are expected to review the student lists provided to them by the Undergraduate Medical Education Office well in advance of assessing medical students in courses, modules, or rotations. Preceptors should proactively disclose any perceived or actual conflict of interest pertaining to medical student assessments to the course administrator.

Medical students are expected to review individual course outlines well in advance of being assessed by a preceptor in a course, module, or rotation. Medical students should proactively disclose any perceived or actual conflict of interest pertaining to academic assessment to the course administrator.

For forms of assessment in which there may be potential for subjectivity in the assessment, the course administrator shall arrange for an alternative assessment to be made. For objective forms of assessment (example: multiple choice questions) the assessment shall proceed as planned.

5.2 Reactive Disclosure
Preceptors who identify a perceived or actual conflict of interest while assessing a medical student must cease the assessment immediately and inform the course administrator.

Medical students who identify a perceived or actual conflict of interest while being assessed must discretely inform the preceptor who in turn shall cease the assessment. Both parties must inform the course administrator of the occurrence.

For forms of assessment in which there may be a potential for subjectivity in the assessment, the course administrator shall arrange for an alternative assessment to be made. For objective forms of assessment (example: multiple choice questions) the assessment shall proceed as planned.

5.3 Post-Assessment Disclosure
Medical students who identify a perceived or actual conflict of interest after having been assessed in a course, module, or rotation will be assigned the grade submitted by the preceptor. The only recourse available to a medical student dissatisfied with their assigned grade are the regulations described in the college-level Procedures for Academic Appeal.

6.0  Student Health Records
Student personal health information is governed by provincial legislation governing privacy and confidentiality of patient health records (the “Health Information Privacy Act”) as well as university-level processes designed to protect student privacy.

The Undergraduate Medical Education Office shall store any health-related information voluntarily submitted by a medical student in the non-academic component of their Active File, per the college-level Student Records Policy. This is intended to further protect the privacy and confidentiality of the medical student.

Responsibilities

The Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, is responsible for providing oversight to the overall administration of the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy at the College of Medicine.

The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, with the assistance of the Undergraduate Medical Education Office, is responsible for the implementation, monitoring, and maintenance of the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy. This includes development and stewardship of the standard operating procedures associated with this policy. It also includes supporting medical students and course, module, and rotation directors as well as preceptors in complying with this policy.

The Student Academic Management Committee is responsible for evaluating, reviewing, and updating this policy every three years.

Non-compliance

Instances or concerns of non-compliance with the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy should be brought to the attention of the Vice-Dean, Education or the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, within the College of Medicine.

Procedures

The Manager, Undergraduate Medical Education, provides overall stewardship to the standard operating procedures associated with the Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy.

Contact

Dr. Meredith McKague
Assistant Dean, Academic
Phone: 306-966-6150