No./Title: COM122/Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest
Resp. Office: Admissions
Approval Body: COA
Effective Date: 7/6/21
Last Review: 7/6/21
Next Review: 7/6/24
Contact: Dustin Fulton, Ed.D.
Asst. Dean of Admissions
Related Policy: N/A
It is the policy of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) College of Medicine (COM) to avoid potential conflicts of interest while evaluating applicants. All members of the Committee on Admissions (COA) must agree and adhere to this policy to have access to admissions documents, reports, and systems.
RATIONALE AND PROCEDURE
- Members of the Committee on Admissions, College of Medicine and University admissions staff, and Information Technology Services staff will have access to information provided by, and on behalf of, applicants to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree program. This may include, but is not limited to, transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statements, and various other institutional and personal documents. Committee members will also participate in discussions and deliberations regarding the qualifications of current and past applicants to the College. Regardless of whether information is received in written or verbal form, marked “confidential,” and regardless of the medium of storage, all such information, including all discussions and deliberations of the Committee on Admissions, is deemed by the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine to be “Confidential Information.” The disclosure of Confidential Information to anyone outside of the Committee on Admissions or admissions staff, including other members of the University of Tennessee Health Science Center faculty and staff, as well as the applicant and his/her family members, is strictly prohibited.
- Should a member of the Committee on Admissions have any personal relationship with an applicant or with anyone connected to an applicant, or any other potential source of conflict of interest, he or she must disclose this information to the Assistant Dean for Admissions and recuse themselves from all deliberations regarding that applicant. If a first-degree relative (child, sibling, or spouse) of a committee member is applying to the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine, the committee member must sit out the entire admissions cycle and may rejoin the committee the following cycle.
- By accepting membership with the Committee on Admissions, committee members agree not to disclose any Confidential Information pertaining to any applicant or group of applicants to anyone outside the Committee on Admissions or admissions staff. Furthermore, committee members agree to direct any questions regarding this policy or Confidential Information on any applicant or group of applicants to the Assistant Dean of Admissions. Membership of the Committee on Admissions is not made public or released to any individuals to shield the committee from potential outside influences.
Confidential Information – Information that is prohibited to disclose to anyone who is not a member of the Committee on Admissions or College of Medicine or University admissions staff, in this instance including any and all information contained in an application to the College of Medicine and any information about the status of or deliberations about an applicant.
Personal Relationship –Any relationship with an applicant who is known by the committee member from any context outside of the application itself. This includes friends, family members, co-workers, patients, etc.
Conflict of Interest – Any situation in which an applicant’s success or failure could have a direct impact on the admissions committee member. Examples include but are not limited to relatives of an employer or supervisor, an employee, relatives of someone with whom you have a pressing financial interest, or relatives of someone with whom you have a political interest.