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Prohibited Conduct

In keeping with the standards of professionalism, the following list describes conduct that is expressly prohibited.  It is neither possible nor necessary to specify every instance of misconduct that could result in disciplinary action against a student.  Some specific examples of unprofessional conduct include:

  1. NOT showing concern for the welfare of patients as evidenced by thoughtless and unprofessional attitude in obtaining history and physical examinations; use of foul language, offensive gestures or inappropriate remarks with sexual overtones; not treating patients with respect and dignity both in their presence and in discussions with peers; not exhibiting manifestation of concern for the total patient.
  2. Showing lack of concern for the rights of others, as shown by dealing with professional and staff personnel or with peer members of the health care team in an inconsiderate manner and with a spirit of uncooperation and negativity;  not acting with an egalitarian spirit towards all persons regardless of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, veteran’s status, disability, or age; not assuming an appropriate and equitable share of duties among peers.
  3. Demonstrating a lack of responsibility to duty, which could involve:  not effectively undertaking duties with alacrity [eagerness, enthusiasm and promptness are synonyms] and  not persevering until complete, or not notifying a responsible more senior person of a problem;  being tardy for class, small groups, rounds, conferences and other duties, or not offering appropriate explanation when unable to be present; not notifying the Dean’s Office, course directors, and/or supervising house officers of absence or inability to carry out duties; not seeing patients regularly and not assuming responsibility for their care with appropriate supervision; not identifying emergencies and responding appropriately; and not being available to faculty or staff personnel when on duty.
  4. Not being trustworthy; exhibiting behaviors of not being truthful and not being intellectually honest in communications with others; not  accepting responsibility for meeting multiple demands by not establishing proper priorities and by not completing work necessary for the optimal care of patients; not discerning accurately when supervision or advice is needed before acting; and not maintaining confidentiality of information concerning patients.
  5. Not exhibiting professional communication and/or demeanor (an unkempt or unclean appearance);
  6. Not maintaining equilibrium under pressures of fatigue, professional stress, or personal problems; avoiding the effects of alcohol or drugs while on duty.


Each student is responsible for his or her postings on the internet and in social media.  In all communications, students are expected to be courteous, respectful, and considerate of others. Inappropriate postings on the internet or social media will be considered lapses in the standards of professionalism expected of Emory medical students. Students responsible for such postings are subject to the conduct code process as for other unprofessional behavior that occurs outside the academic setting and may face disciplinary actions including dismissal from the School of Medicine.

Students within the school of medicine are urged to consider the following before posting any comments, videos, pictures, or essays to the internet or a social media site:

1.  There is no such thing as an “anonymous” post.  Furthermore, any posts or comments submitted for others to read should be posted with full identification. Where your connection to Emory is apparent, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Emory. A disclaimer, such as, "The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my University or the School of Medicine" are required.

2.  Internet activities may be permanently linked to the author, so that all future employment (residency, fellowship and beyond) may be hampered by inappropriate behavior on the internet.

3.  Making postings “private” do not preclude others copying and pasting comments on public websites.  “Private” postings that become public are subject to sanctions described in the School of Medicine Conduct Code.

4.  Do not share information in violation of any laws or regulations. Disclosing information about patients without written permission of the patient and the School of Medicine, including photographs or potentially identifiable information is strictly prohibited. This rule applies to deceased patients also.

5.  For Emory’s protection as well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing intellectual property, copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including Emory’s own copyrights and brands.  Curricular materials developed by Emory faculty and staff or faculty/staff of other medical schools or educational institutions should not be used, distributed, or redistributed inappropriately.  When in doubt, students should seek guidance regarding appropriate use of such materials.

6. Do not share confidential or proprietary information that may compromise Emory’s research efforts, business practices or security.