UAMS College of Medicine Faculty Professionalism Guideline

I.       Purpose:

This Professionalism Guideline serves to document the expectations we collectively hold for ourselves in our interactions with patients, colleagues, health professionals, students, trainees, staff and the public.

II.    Our Culture:

The UAMS College of Medicine strives to achieve an environment of collegiality by demonstrating the utmost respect for one another, free from disruptive, threatening, and violent behavior. We will not accept inappropriate, unprofessional, or intimidating behavior within the workplace. All persons, including patients, visitors, staff, students, residents, postdoctoral fellows and faculty are treated with courtesy, and dignity. All faculty members who practice at or in affiliation with UAMS conduct themselves in a professional, collaborative, and cooperative manner consistent with the UAMS Staff Handbook, the Faculty Group Practice Handbook, the Medical Staff Bylaws of the affiliated institutions, the House Officer Manual, College of Medicine Student Handbook, UAMS Human Resources policies, other applicable UAMS policies and procedures, and the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees policies and any applicable University wide Administrative Memoranda.

III.  Our Practices:

Our culture is supported by the pursuit of ethical virtues and professional ideals.  [See Appendix I & II for Specific Examples]

A. Ethical Virtues

 1. Responsibility for Patient Care

2. Integrity in Research

3. Respect for People

4. Respect for Patient Confidentiality

5. Honesty, Integrity

6. Awareness of Limitations, Professional Growth and the need for Life-long Learning

7. Deportment as a Professional

8. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

9. Responsibility for Peer Behavior

10. Respect for Personal Ethics

11. Respect for Property and Laws

 B. Professional Ideals

1. Clinical and Scientific Virtues

2. Conscientiousness and Dedication to Duty

3. Collegiality

4. Personal Health

5. Objectivity

6. Responsibility to Society

IV.  Guideline for Honoring Exemplary Professional Behavior:

Directly commend the individual whose exemplary professionalism you observed.

Share your observations with the individual’s supervisor verbally and/or in writing.  Should you choose to write a letter about your observations, consider sharing it with the individual’s Department Chair and the Dean, You may choose to use the UAMS Employee Commendation Notice that can be found on the Office of Human Resources web page.  (http://www.uams.edu/ohr/Manager’s_Information.asp – see Employee Recognition and Employee Commendation Form).

V.    Guideline for Action When Lapses in Professionalism Occur:

When any member of the UAMS community believes that s/he has witnessed or was the recipient of behavior manifest by a COM faculty member that is inconsistent with our professional culture and practices, the following options serve as a mechanism for action.

  • If possible, it is desirable to discuss the incident with the offending faculty member who may be unaware of how s/he is perceived or is impacting others (unless you feel that this conversation may result in personal harm and/or retribution).
  • If the issue can not be satisfactorily resolved by direct communication, take two subsequent steps:

1)      Report the incident up the chain of command to one or more of the following individuals depending on the specific circumstances:

The direct faculty supervisor

The appropriate Residency Program Director

The appropriate Divisional Chief of Service

The Chair of the Department(s) involved

The appropriate Associate Dean of the College of Medicine

The Dean of the College of Medicine

2)      Enter a report into the confidential reporting system:  ILLUMINE, found on the UAMS Intranet.  Reports made to ILLUMINE are reviewed by the Dean’s Senior Advisory Council.  Information about the purpose and functioning of this Council can be found on the web page of the Office of Faculty Affairs (www.uams.edu/facultyaffairs/default.asp)

  • Individuals’ concerns need to be taken seriously and addressed appropriately.  The UAMS College of Medicine faculty will not tolerate retaliation. <Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, and the Arkansas Whistleblowers Act, Ark. Code Ann.s.16-123-108>
  • If the observer or the recipient of the unprofessional behavior is unsure of the appropriate chain of command, s/he can confidentially consult any of the individuals noted in the list above as well as the Faculty Group Practice Risk Management Director, the UAMS College of Medicine Wellness Program Director, and the UAMS Employee Assistance Program for guidance as to how s/he should proceed.
  • Imminent danger – Immediately report to UAMS Police any actions which appear to pose an immediate threat of harm to any individual in order to safeguard the health and safety of others. (501) 686-7777.
  • Sexual harassment represents a serious lapse of professional behavior that, by UAMS policy, must be reported to the Office of Human Resources (Employee Relations Manager, 501-686-5650).  When any UAMS employee receives a report of sexual harassment, he or she must immediately notify their supervisor or Department Head who, in turn, must notify the Office of Human Resources prior to taking any action to investigate or resolve the matter informally and must act only on direction from the Office of Human Resources.  Employees who need to report an incident of sexual harassment after regular business hours should report the incident to the UAMS Police Department if the employee’s supervisor is unavailable or other administrative offices are closed. The UAMS Police Department will take appropriate action and will notify the Office of Human Resources at the beginning of the next business day.

 VI. Corrective / Disciplinary Actions:

It is the intent of the UAMS COM community to support the remediation of faculty members who have significantly breached this guideline. Performance improvement counseling or corrective action will be initiated depending on the specific facts and circumstances.  Significant violation(s) or repeated patterns of disruptive behavior may result in serious action, up to and including termination. A single egregious instance of disruptive behavior may warrant disciplinary or corrective action, including termination, in accordance with appropriate University of Arkansas Board of Trustees policies.

VII. Some Useful Web References:

 U of A Board of Trustees Policies

 UAMS Administrative Guide

 UAMS Medical Center Policies & Procedures

 UAMS Drug Free Work Place

 UAMS Drug Testing

 UAMS Employee Disciplinary Notice

 UAMS Faculty Group Practice Handbook

 UAMS Sexual Harassment Code

 UAMS Substance Abuse Policy

 Appropriate Treatment of Residents

 College of Medicine House Officer Code of Conduct

 College of Medicine Student Handbook