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Policy on the Appropriate Treatment of Learners


The Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell is committed to creating and maintaining a positive learning environment that reflects the school's dimensions of professionalism, respect for individual rights, and appreciation of diversity. Behavior that violates this stated expectation will be investigated, and if found to represent mistreatment, may become the subject of disciplinary action. Mistreatment of learners is unacceptable and will not be tolerated. Examples of mistreatment include but are not limited to (1) sexual harassment, (2) discrimination based on race, color, gender, national origin, age, religion, creed, disability, veteran's status, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, (3) public humiliation, verbal abuse, threats, or other forms of psychological mistreatment, and (4) physical harassment, physical endangerment, and/or physical harm.

The Zucker School of Medicine has numerous policies that prohibit mistreatment of learners, including  the Educator's Pledge that describes the school's expectations for faculty members and residents regarding their conduct as educators. This Policy on Appropriate Treatment of Learners is consistent with the Zucker School of Medicine's Educator's Pledge, and Statement of Professionalism, Hofstra University's Code of Conduct, Harassment Policy, Nondiscrimination Policy, Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct, and Code of Professional Responsibility for Faculty.

Under this policy, medical students could be considered teachers or learners, depending on the role they play in any specific situation. This policy applies to both visiting medical students and Zucker School of Medicine students.

Procedures for Reporting Mistreatment

Perceived mistreatment of a learner, either experienced or witnessed, should be reported confidentially or anonymously using one or more of the following methods:

  1. In writing via the Mistreatment Reporting Form
  2. Verbally via the respect hotline at (516) 463-7650
  3. In writing via the som.respect@hofstra.edu email

In addition to the main reporting methods listed above, concerns about mistreatment of a learner may be brought to the attention of the associate dean for student affairs, a course/clerkship director, or any other member of the Dean's Office of the School of Medicine.

Perceived mistreatment may also be reported to the Hofstra University Office of Human Resources by emailing HumanResources@hofstra.edu or calling 516-463-6859.

Retaliation Prohibited

Retaliation against any individual making a report of mistreatment is strictly prohibited. Retaliation against any individual participating in an investigative or disciplinary process related to this policy is also strictly prohibited.

Confidentiality of Reporting Mechanisms

The Zucker School of Medicine will protect the confidentiality of members of the University community who may be involved in reports of mistreatment, insofar as that is reasonably practicable. Specifically, the identity of the individual making a report and the individual accused of mistreating a learner, as well as information relating to the report of mistreatment will be disseminated only to those individuals who have a legitimate need to know, or as reasonably necessary for the purpose of investigating or resolving the report.

Please see the Harassment Policy and the Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct for detailed information regarding confidentiality under those policies.

While the Zucker School of Medicine offers anonymous ways to report mistreatment of learners, full disclosure of the persons involved and the behaviors witnessed can lead to more effective action to correct the problem. Therefore, we encourage full reporting of incidents of mistreatment of learners and people involved in them. Anonymous reports will be investigated to the extent that specific information is provided, but individuals who report anonymously should understand that the Zucker School of Medicine may be limited in its ability to investigate the report meaningfully or to take corrective action in response to an anonymous report.

False Reports

Intentional false or malicious reports of mistreatment by learners will not be tolerated and will be handled as a disciplinary matter.

References to Regulations and/or Other Related Policies:
Educator's Pledge
Code of Conduct
Code of Professional Responsibility for Faculty
Harassment Policy
LCME Element 3.5: Learning Environment/Professionalism
LCME Element 3.6: Student Mistreatment
Nondiscrimination Policy
Statement of Professionalism
Student Policy Prohibiting Discriminatory Harassment, Relationship Violence and Sexual Misconduct

Last Updated: July 2019


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