Disability & Confidentiality
Disability information is considered private. Faculty members, with the exception of those on the CSD, do not have the right to access students' diagnostic information. Ordinarily, faculty members and other relevant staff need only know the accommodations that are deemed necessary to provide an equal opportunity for students.
There are times, however, when certain faculty members and/or administrators may also have a legitimate educational need to know about a student's functional limitations. In such cases, the Dr. Shoop may speak directly with those individuals to ensure appropriate planning, as well as safety for patients, students, and staff. Faculty and staff may also speak among themselves as necessary to provide appropriate support and safety.
Staff members to whom accommodation forms are presented may copy these forms for their records, but they should take care to keep the information private. The accommodation information conveyed on the forms should be communicated only to faculty and/or staff who have an educational interest (for instance, those who are involved in providing the accommodations, or those who are responsible for the educational environment). If a faculty member or a student has any questions about specific accommodations, he/she may contact Dr. Shoop directly. All documentation and official correspondence concerning a student's disability are kept in a separate, confidential file in the Office for Medical Education.
Clinical faculty (e.g. clerkship directors) who have occasion to write student evaluations at the end of clerkships must be careful not to breach the confidentiality afforded students with disabilities. Written evaluations, which may be excerpted in the Dean's Letter or seen by others outside the Geisel community, should not mention disabilities or accommodations for disabilities in any way. Once a student has been approved for specific accommodations by CSD, and has subsequently received those accommodations, that student should be held to the same essential performance standards as all other students. Therefore, clinical faculty should focus strictly on the student's performance in all these evaluations. With regard to letters of reference solicited by students, faculty members may mention a disability IF the student gives prior permission for them to do so.
The Geisel School of Medicine does not notify potential residency programs or other employers about student disabilities without specific permission from the student. Since students with disabilities, once accommodated, are held to the same standards as other students, we do not make notation of any kind on the transcript or in the official Dean's letter (MSPE).
Return to Student Accessibility Services.