Mistreatment Policy

 

 

 

normal medium large

    INTRODUCTION

    The School of Medicine is a proud member of the University community, and as such, takes seriously conduct violations that compromise the safety of others as well as of the learning environment. Furthermore, we are committed to maintaining a positive environment for medical study and training, in which individuals are evaluated solely on relevant factors such as ability and performance, reflecting the School of Medicine’s core values of Integrity, Compassion, Accountability, Respect, and Excellence (ICARE).  The following outlines key policies and procedures of the University and the School of Medicine which help to ensure a safe environment for learning and serving patients. It is incumbent on all members of the School of Medicine – faculty, staff, and students – to know their rights and responsibilities.

    Statement of the University Non-Discrimination Policy:

    Consistent with federal and state guidelines, Stony Brook University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, age, ethnicity, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, or veterans' status in its educational programs or employment. If you are a student or an employee of Stony Brook University and you consider yourself to be a target of discrimination or harassment, you may file a complaint in writing with the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action. If you choose to file such a complaint within the University, you do not lose your right to file with an outside enforcement agency such as the State Division of Human Rights, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or the Office of Civil Rights.

    University Policy on Sexual Harassment (P106)

    The University reaffirms the principle that students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from discrimination based upon gender, commonly known as "sexual harassment."

    • Harassment on the basis of gender is a form of sexual discrimination, and violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.
    • The University is responsible for and fully committed to the prevention and elimination of gender harassment. Super visors and department heads are responsible for promoting an atmosphere that prohibits such unacceptable behavior.
    • Unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors and verbal or physical conduct of an abusive, sexual nature constitute harassment when such conduct interferes with an individual's work or academic performance, or creates an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. Harassment of employees by supervisors, or of students by faculty or administrators, is unlawful. Conversely, harassment of supervisors by employees, faculty by students, or individuals by co-workers, is also unlawful.
    • The University does not tolerate gender harassment and treats it as a form of misconduct. Sanctions are enforced against individuals engaging in such behavior.

    University-wide Resources

    If you believe your right to engage freely in your education pursuits has been compromised as a result of a Title VII or Title IX Violation or a violation of the University’s non-discrimination policy, contact the University Affirmative Action Officer and Title IX Coordinator, Christina Vargas Law, 201 Administration Building, at 632-6280 or see http://www.stonybrook.edu/titleix for more information and/or to report an incident. The following offices are also areas where you can make an inquiry or request further information:

    Human Resource Services
Room 390, Administration Building
(631) 632-6200

    Office of the Provost
Room 407, Administration Building
(631) 632-7000

    Office of the Dean of the Graduate School
Room 2401, Computer Sciences Building
(631) 632-7040

    Health Sciences Center
L-2, Room 400 Health Sciences Center
(631) 444-2253

    School of Medicine
L-4, 170, Health Sciences Center
(631) 444-1785

    Relationships between University Staff and Students (P208)

    All University employees, including administrative staff, medical personnel, full and part-time faculty, teaching assistants and academic mentors, act on behalf of the University and with its authority when supervising or evaluating student work, assigning grades for credit, or acting in an advisory capacity.

    Personal Relationships:

    Familial, romantic and sexual relationships compromise the objectivity and integrity with which University employees discharge their academic, administrative and supervisory responsibilities. The use of the student-faculty or student-supervisor relationship to seek or maintain a personal relationship is an abuse of power and is specifically prohibited by campus policies P105 Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action and P106 Sexual Harassment.

    Business Relationships:

    Business relationships between faculty and students that actually or potentially entail obligations or concessions that may compromise the academic integrity of either party or the academic program are not acceptable. See campus policies P209 Conflict of Interest and P508 Financial Transactions with Students.

    Additionally, all full and part-time University staff, as State employees, are subject to the ethics provisions of the New York State Public Officers Law that prohibit acceptance of any personal gift of more than nominal value.

    Individuals engaged in such behavior are subject to disciplinary and/or legal action.

    Workplace Violence (P509)

    It is Stony Brook University's policy to promote a safe environment that is free from violence for all members of the University community. The University will not tolerate any acts of workplace violence, such as physical assaults or acts of aggressive behavior including but not limited to: An attempt or threat, whether verbal or physical, to inflict physical injury; Any intentional display of force that gives reason for someone to fear or expect bodily harm; Intentional and wrongful physical contact with a person without his or her consent that entails some injury; Stalking with the intent of causing fear of material harm to the physical safety and health of the individual.

    Workplace violence may occur within a wide spectrum of interactions between students, faculty, staff, patients and visitors of the University. The University is committed to maintaining a campus environment that is free from workplace violence. It is the responsibility of all employees to create and maintain a campus environment free from and acts of workplace violence. Reports of incidents of workplace violence will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately. Individuals who commit acts of workplace violence may be removed from the premises by University Police and referred for disciplinary action, criminal penalty or both.

    In the event that employees observe or experience an incident of workplace violence involving an employee or visitor to the Stony Brook campus in which there is an imminent threat to someone's safety or an injury has occurred, the employee must immediately contact University Police and in addition notify their immediate supervisor. Employees or supervisors who become aware of a workplace violence incident in which there is no imminent threat and no physical injury has occurred may also report that incident to Human Resources. Human Resources will consult with the University Police Department on incidents reported directly to them. Questions about the workplace violence program, including what may constitute workplace violence should be directed to the Human Resources.

     

    Reporting ACTS of Workplace Violence

    University Police
Call 911 for University Police assistance from any Campus phone or (631) 632-6333 from an off-campus phone.

    Further information about Workplace Violence:

    To learn more about the University’s Workplace Violence prevention program and policies and procedures, visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/hr/misc/wvp/prevention-program.shtml.

    Disruptive Behavior Policy (P521)

    DISRUPTIVE, THREATENING, OR VIOLENT BEHAVIOR

    Students, faculty, and staff have the right to be free from acts or threats of disruptive behavior and/or physical violence, including intimidation, harassment and/or coercion, which involve or affect the University Community. The University does not tolerate any student, faculty member, administrator, or employee, acting individually or in concert with others, who clearly obstructs or disrupts any teaching, research, administrative, disciplinary, public service activity or any other workplace activity held on campus property. The University prohibits retaliation against those who report or cooperate in the investigation of disruptive behavior.

    Further information about Disruptive Behavior:

    To learn more about the University’s Workplace Violence prevention program and policies and procedures, visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/hr/policy/disruptive-behavior-procedure.shtml.

    For a complete list of University policies, visit http://www.stonybrook.edu/policy/. Students can report any incident of discrimination, harassment or violence to the offices listed above without seeking permission of the School of Medicine, nor are students required to inform the School of Medicine of their intent to make a report. If a student would like support from the Administration of the School of Medicine to help guide him or her through the reporting process at the University, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and student members of the Mistreatment peer review group are available to assist with the University’s processes.

    School of Medicine Policy on Standards of Conduct for the Teacher-Learner Relationship

    In addition to the University policies and procedures listed above, the School of Medicine’s Faculty Code of Ethics  (www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/facultysenate/codeofethics) Section 2 Respect for Persons delineates faculty behaviors demonstrating respect for other persons. For incidents that are violation of the University policies listed above, the School of Medicine will work with University administrators to address all issues brought forward. For incidents that are violations of the School of Medicine’s policies on the learning environment alone, the following outlines the process of reporting such incidents.

    STUDENT MISTREATMENT

    As of 2011, the School of Medicine has initiated a school wide program entitled “WE SMILE” which is an acronym for we can eradicate student mistreatment in the learning environment.

    W: We can

    E: eradicate

    S: student

    M: mistreatment

    I: in the

    L: learning

    E: environment

    Components of the WE SMILE program

    The six components of the WE SMILE program include a) Education b) Definition c) Reporting d) Review and Adjudication e) Enforcement and f) Communication/ Closing the loop.

    Component One: Education:

    Information regarding all components of the WE SMILE program will be disseminated to students, residents, teaching faculty and staff through the SOM website, orientation programs, class meetings and brochures. All faculty, residents and staff will be required to complete an online training module annually.

    Component Two: Definition of Student Mistreatment:

    The School has defined mistreatment as verbal or emotional behavior that shows disrespect for medical students and unreasonably interferes with their respective learning process.

    Examples of mistreatment include but are not limited to:

    • insults or unjustifiably harsh language in speaking to or about a person
    • public belittling or humiliation
    • requiring performance of personal services (e.g., shopping, babysitting)
    • intentional neglect or lack of communication (e.g., neglect, in a rotation, of students with interests in a different field of medicine)
    • disregard for student safety
    • denigrating comments about a student's field of choice
    • assigning tasks for punishment rather than for objective evaluation of performance
    • exclusion of a student from any usual and reasonable expected educational opportunity for any reason other than as a reasonable response to that student's performance or merit
    • other behaviors which are contrary to the spirit of learning and/or violate the trust between the teacher and learner.

    Component Three: Reporting Mistreatment:

    The School of Medicine has created multiple avenues to report mistreatment to encourage reporting as well as track patterns and frequency of mistreatment to target specific prevention initiatives. Students should keep in mind that the range of responses available to the School of Medicine will be contingent not only on the nature of the mistreatment, but also the degree to which a student is willing to identify him/herself.

    Further, the School of Medicine may decide that a report of mistreatment rises to a level where University policy has been violated and be required to notify Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action, Labor Relations, and/or University Police.

    1. Face to Face report
      1. Students may report any concerns of mistreatment to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
      2. Student focus groups and exit interviews: Non teaching personnel in the School of Medicine conduct periodic focus groups and clerkship exit interviews with students. This serves as another safe venue for students to bring up concerns regarding the learning environment confidentially. Such reports will be directed to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
    2.  

      While all reports are confidential and separate from any academic record, there are some forms of incident reporting where anonymity cannot be guaranteed. Students who are unsure of which route to take in addressing an incident of mistreatment can make use of consultation services of Counseling and Psychological Services at either the East Campus location (3rd floor, near the HSC Library) or West Campus location (2nd floor, Student Health Services Building). Licensed counselors are able to help a student talk through options available in a confidential setting including whether or not a student wants to report mistreatment.  In cases where the student wishes to maintain anonymity, the student may designate a proxy to present the information for review by the Committee on Student Affairs.

       

       

    3. Online reporting
      1. Professionalism Note: The Professionalism note on the SOM website (https://cbase.som.sunysb.edu/cbase2/public/comments/index.cfm) allows any student/staff member/trainee/faculty to anonymously or otherwise report potential concerns regarding the learning environment. Such reports will be reviewed by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for appropriate further action.
      2. Mistreatment Note: This note on CBase  in the feedback tab, allows students to report confidentially or anonymously any mistreatment they have experienced or witnessed during their education at Stony Brook. Being available 24/7, students may choose to report events at the time or any time later, so that they can do so without any fear of retribution. These reports are sent to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for review and report to the Committee on Student Affairs.
      3. End of Course Evaluation form on CBaseThis form completed by all students at the end of each course or clerkship allows aggregate assessment of the prevalence of mistreatment and learning environment concerns anonymously. It also allows any student to report a mistreatment incident during that course/ clerkship confidentially to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. The screen shots from CBase are shown below.

    CBASE SCREEN PRINTS:

    Step 1: Identify if mistreatment occurred:

    Step 2: Classify type of mistreatment:

    Step 3: Identify reporting approach:

    Step 4: Refer back to policy for further information and additional reporting options.

     

    Component Four: Review and Adjudication

     

    Regardless of the mechanism by which an incident is reported, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs serves as the focal point for the initial review of all mistreatment reports. Issues related to physical assault or sexual harassment, workplace violence, Title IX Violations, or discrimination will be referred immediately to the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action and/or University Police as appropriate.

    With regard to issues that are within the Associate Dean’s purview, the Associate Dean shall use his best efforts to resolve the issue between the concerned parties.  In the event that the matter is unable to be resolved by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs the matter will be referred to the Committee on Student Affairs for review and adjudication. The Committee on Student Affairs, a standing subcommittee of the Faculty Senate, will conduct its formal proceedings to decide the appropriate course of action in all such referrals. There will be a face to face meeting with the student / student proxy and with the reported individual (faculty member, resident, student, allied health professional or staff member). After review of the facts and deliberations by the committee, a recommendation is made in writing to the Dean of the School of Medicine with copies to other appropriate supervisors and the parties involved. Recommendations may range from:

    • dismissal of the concern
    • remediation through educational interventions
    • counseling and psychological services
    • referral to the Office of Diversity and Affirmative Action
    • referral to the Stony Brook University Hospital Medical Board
    • referral to Labor Relations
    • referral to University Legal Counsel 
    • referral to University Police
    • referral to University Community Standards
    • Other referrals as deemed appropriate

    Component Five: Enforcement

    The responsibility for the enforcement rests with the Dean School of Medicine and the university official to whom the recommendations/ further action was referred.

    Component Six: Communication/ Closing the Loop

    The Committee on Student Affairs will provide periodic reports to the Faculty Senate and to the Dean’s Office on its activities and outcomes. In addition, aggregate reports will be made periodically to the SOM educational committees and student body.

    Retaliation and False Claims:

    Retaliation against a person who reports, complains of, or provides information in a mistreatment investigation or proceeding is prohibited. Alleged retaliation will be subject to investigation and may result in disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion.

    A person who knowingly makes false allegations of mistreatment, or who knowingly provides false information in a mistreatment investigation or proceeding, will be subject to disciplinary action (and, in the case of students, consistent with the Honor Code).