Student Mistreatment

The School of Medicine strives for an environment that is respectful of all community members and does not tolerate mistreatment of students. Emory students are protected by two University Policies as stated in the following two paragraphs.

The University Equal Opportunity and Discriminatory Harassment Policy (Policy 1.3) is incorporated into this Policy. Per Policy 1.3, Emory encourages anyone who has knowledge of discrimination on campus to report alleged violations of Policy 1.3 to the Director of Equal Opportunity Programs. Emory faculty, administrators and supervisors are required to immediately report any complaints they receive or incidents of discrimination or discriminatory harassment they witness, to their immediate report or to the Office of Equal Opportunity Programs.

Per the Emory University Sexual Misconduct Policy (Policy 8.2) every university employee who is informed about an allegation of sexual misconduct involving any student is required to notify a Title IX Coordinator.

In conjunction with the two University Policies listed above, the School of Medicine Student Mistreatment Policy addresses additional types of behavior that will not be tolerated. Mistreatment of medical students includes, but is not limited to, students:

Being treated in a manner that a reasonable person would find belittling, humiliating insulting or disrespectful under the circumstances

  • Being sexually harassed
  • Being denied opportunities for training or rewards, or receiving lower evaluations or grades based on the basis of any prohibited consideration, including race, color, religion, ethnic or national origin, gender, genetic information, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, veteran’s status, or any factor that is a prohibited consideration under applicable law (referred to as “prohibited considerations”).
  • Being maliciously and intentionally left out of communications to the detriment of a student
  • Being subjected to offensive sexist, racist, or ethnically offensive remarks or names
  • Being required to perform inappropriate personal services (i.e. babysitting, shopping)
  • Being threatened with physical harm (e.g. hit, slapped, kicked)

Reporting Mistreatment

Student mistreatment is contrary to the values, respect, civility, and community as set forth in the University's Statement of Ethical Principles. Medical students who experience mistreatment themselves or observe other students experiencing possible mistreatment are expected and encouraged to follow the following reporting process.

The initial step is for students to discuss the incident of mistreatment with their Society Small Group Advisor (SGA) in a confidential but not anonymous manner. SGA's develop a longitudinal relationship with each medical student and play an essential role in their development. SGA's have the experience to understand the context of the alleged offense and the training to guide the student to the next most appropriate action steps for resolution.

Students may choose to seek resolution through several other pathways. Any or all of the following persons may be contacted in seeking guidance to resolve an incident of experienced or observed mistreatment:

  • A different Small Group Advisor
  • The Director of the Society System: Dr. Mary Jo Lechowicz
  • One of the Deans of the School of Medicine
  • The Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs

The Society Advisors and Deans are trained to respond to complaints related to student mistreatment. The Society Advisors and Deans will report any alleged mistreatment to appropriate School and/or University officials as per the policies that apply to the report.

After discussing the mistreatment with their Society Advisor, another Society Advisor, or a dean, subsequent actions by the student may include any or all of the following:

Direct Communication with the Person Alleged to have Mistreated the Student

If the student feels comfortable speaking directly with the alleged offending person to address concerns and obtain an appropriate resolution, the student may do so.

File an Internal Complaint (within the School of Medicine)

A student who believes he or she has been mistreated may file a written complaint (via email or hard-copy) with the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs. The complaint should include the name(s) of those accused of mistreatment, the names of any witnesses of the alleged mistreatment, the nature of the alleged action(s), the date and times of the alleged action(s), and any adverse consequences experienced by the student.

If the mistreatment includes alleged sexual misconduct by a student, a report will be submitted to the University Title IX officer. If the mistreatment is alleged to be of a discriminatory nature and by a staff member, a faculty member, or others in the educational environment, the report will be submitted to the Equal Opportunity Program (EOP) for review.

If the alleged mistreatment is not sexual or discriminatory harassment, the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs will investigate the alleged mistreatment and make a report to the Dean of the School of Medicine, when possible, within 30 days of the filing of the complaint. The Dean or his or her designee will be responsible for deciding upon and imposing disciplinary action(s).

File an External Complaint

If a student believes he or she has been subjected to unlawful discrimination, harassment, or retaliation as described in Emory University Policy 1.3, the student may file a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Prohibition of Retaliation

The School of Medicine prohibits retaliation against a student who, in good faith, complains about or participates in an investigation of student mistreatment. Any student who feels he or she has been retaliated against or threatened with retaliation should report the allegation immediately to the Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs. The Executive Associate Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs will investigate the alleged retaliation and make a report to the Dean of the School of Medicine, when possible, within 30 days of the filing of the complaint. The Dean, or his or her designee, will be responsible for deciding upon and imposing disciplinary action(s).

While mistreatment issues may be written in student evaluations of residents or faculty and evaluations of courses or clerkships, students should NOT rely on those mechanisms as the primary or sole means to report mistreatment. The reporting mechanisms described above have been established to produce a timely and effective resolution to any mistreatment concerns.

Last modified: 7/28/2018