COM108 Student Mistreatment – COM Medical Education

No./Title: COM108 Student Mistreatment

Resp. Office: Medical Education

Approval Body: CUME

Effective Date: 05/20/19

Category: COM/UME

Last Review: 04/21/22

Next Review: 04/21/25

Contact: Michael Whitt, Ph.D.

Assoc. Dean for Medical Education

🕿 901-448-4634


Related Policy:

SA105 – Preventing Student Mistreatment AA110 – Grading Policy

COM107 – Grading Policy for MD Curriculum

COM112 — Work (Duty) Hours


It is the policy of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) to promote an environment in which all medical professionals can work and learn in an atmosphere of dignity, respect and freedom from discrimination. The COM will follow the below procedures in implementing the relevant UTHSC policy (SA105 — Preventing Student Mistreatment).


  1. Process for dissemination of UTHSC policy
    1. The COM provides ongoing education to students, residents, fellows, faculty and other staff, focusing on reinforcing standards of professional and collegial behavior, and informing the community of procedures for managing real or perceived mistreatment. Specific groups are targeted as follows:
      1. Medical students: The CenterScope student handbook includes a section on mistreatment. This topic is on the agenda for all student orientations, and is referenced in the policies for each preclinical course and clinical rotation.
      2. Faculty, residents, fellows, nurses, and other staff: The mistreatment policy is shared along with other policies and resources central to the educational mission.
  2. Process for addressing mistreatment
    1. If the issue involves the Course Director, the student should contact the Assistant Dean of Basic Science Curriculum or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, whomever the student feels more comfortable approaching or considers more appropriate.
      1. Clinical years (M3/M4)
        1. If the concern involves an intern or junior resident on the team, the student should discuss the situation with the supervising resident.
        2. If the issue involves ancillary personnel or the supervising resident, the student should discuss the problem with the team attending physician.
        3. If the issue involves the attending physician, or if the student is uncomfortable discussing the situation with any member of the team, or if he/she is simply unsure about whom to approach, the student should contact the Clerkship Director.
        4. If the issue involves the Clerkship Director, the student should contact the department Chair, the Assistant Dean of Clinical Curriculum or the Associate Dean of Student Affairs, whomever the student feels more comfortable approaching or considers more appropriate.
  3. Mistreatment Reporting Form (all years)
    1. All incidents of mistreatment should be reported using the COM Mistreatment Reporting Form, which can be found on OLSEN or here (Mistreatment Reporting Form).
    2. Students may choose to provide their name and contact information on the report, or they may wish to remain anonymous.
  4. Procedures to address specific categories of alleged mistreatment
    1. Complaints relating to grades are handled as outlined in the Academic Catalog (e.g. the Bulletin) and UTHSC Grading Policy, AA110. Grade appeals are made according to the procedure outlined in the Grading Policy for MD Curriculum, COM107.
    2. Issues of racial or gender discrimination or harassment are directed to the UTHSC Office of Equity and Diversity. An alternative to the University hearing process may be afforded according to the “contested cases” section of the State of Tennessee Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.
    3. For complaints concerning Work (Duty) Hours violation for any clinical rotation, the student should contact the Clerkship or Course Director for the rotation who will investigate the allegation without identifying the source of the complaint. If the work hours expectations exceed the policy, the team will be educated concerning the policy rules and follow up oversight will assure resolution of the problem. (See COM112 — Work (Duty) Hours)
    4. If warranted, college officials may request further investigation by the Student Conduct Officer, who will interview all parties and make a recommendation to the college as to possible resolution.
  5. Protection from retaliation
    1. Individuals alleging mistreatment are to be protected from retaliation.
    2. Those accused of mistreatment are reminded that retaliation is itself regarded as a form of mistreatment, to be addressed according to the procedures described above.


Effective: 5/20/2019

Revised: 4/21/22

COM108 Student Mistreatment – COM Medical Education
Version: 1 // Effective: 05/20/2019
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