Appropriate behavior includes, but is not in any way limited to honesty, trustworthiness, professional demeanor, respect for the rights of others, personal accountability, and concern for the welfare of patients:
Honesty – Being truthful in communication with all others, while in the healthcare arena or in the community at large.
Maintenance of Patient Confidentiality – Discussion of patient care is restricted to those areas where conversations cannot be overheard by others outside of the care team; refraining from disclosing patient identity to those not connected to the care of the patient; maintaining appropriate security for all electronic patient records, whether in the patient care or research realms;
Trustworthiness – Being dependable; following through on responsibilities in a timely manner; maintaining the confidentiality of patient information.
Professional Communication and Demeanor – Being thoughtful and kind when interacting with patients, their families, other members of the healthcare team, and all others; refrain from intoxication; abstaining from the illegal use of drugs (both prescription and illicit drugs); maintaining civility in all relationships; striving to maintain composure under pressures of fatigue, professional stress or personal problems; maintaining a neat and clean appearance and dress in attire that is reasonable and accepted as professional to the patient population served.
Respect for the rights of others – Dealing with staff, and peer members of the health team in a considerate manner and with a spirit of cooperation; acting with an egalitarian spirit toward all persons encountered in a professional or non-professional setting, regardless of age, race, color, national origin, disability, religion, gender, sexual preference, socioeconomic status, or veteran/reserve/National Guard status; respecting the rights of patients and their families to be informed and share in patient care decisions; respecting patients’ modesty and privacy.
Personal accountability – Participating responsibly in patient care to the best of one’s ability and with appropriate supervision; undertaking clinical duties and persevering until they are complete; notifying the responsible person if something interferes with one’s ability to perform clinical tasks effectively; compliance with University Policies and Procedures in an honest and forthright manner.
Concern for the welfare of patients – Displaying a thoughtful and professional attitude in obtaining history and physical examinations; treating patients and their families with respect and dignity both in their presence and in discussions with others; avoiding the use of foul language, offensive gestures or inappropriate remarks with sexual overtones; discerning accurately when supervision or advice is needed and seeking these out before acting; recognizing when one’s ability to function effectively is compromised and asking for relief or help; never administering care, in person or over the phone while under the influence of alcohol or other drugs (prescription or illegal); not engaging in romantic, sexual, or other nonprofessional relationships with a patient, even upon the apparent request of a patient; advocating for the best care of the patient, in context of that patient’s beliefs and desires.
Responsibility to duty– Effectively undertaking duties with alacrity [eagerness, enthusiasm and promptness are synonyms] and persevering until complete, or notifying a responsible more senior person of a problem; punctual attendance for class, small groups, rounds, conferences and other clinical duties, or offering appropriate explanation when unable to be present; notifying the Dean’s Office, course directors, and/or supervising house officers of absence or inability to carry out duties; seeing patients regularly and assuming responsibility for their care with appropriate supervision; identifying emergencies and responding appropriately; and being available to faculty or staff personnel when on duty.