The Student Honor Code

The Student Honor Code

The Student Honor Code, a code encompassing professional conduct & academic integrity, is an individual and collective responsibility of students and faculty working together to maintain honorable conduct and professional behavior. The students of Geisel feel strongly that professionalism and academic integrity are cornerstones of the continuous development of successful and responsible physicians.

The honor code outlined below is central to the culture of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth.

Student Responsibilities:

A student will act in a manner that encourages a respectful and collaborative environment of mutual trust. Students are expected to demonstrate professional behavior both inside and outside the classroom and in the clinical environment. This includes the following expectations identified by the student Honor Code Committee:

• Actively uphold the spirit and letter of the Honor Code and be familiar with its policies.

• Participate in the enforcement of this code when appropriate to do so.

• Take appropriate action if he/she believes a breach of the Student Honor Code has occurred as outlined in this policy.

• Conduct themselves online as they would in person. The responsibility to maintain a professional image online lies with the student.

A student should not:

• Violate the principles of this Honor Code.

• Give or receive prohibited aid in tests or assignments.

• Plagiarize.

• Falsify any clinical report or experimental results.

• Infringe upon the rights of other students’ access to College facilities.

• Violate the code of ethics for use of the Dartmouth computing system, the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center electronic medical record (EMR) information systems (i.e., “eDH”), or any other EMR system at any clinical site.

Procedures for Reporting Suspected Infractions of the Code

1. If a student witnesses an action that appears to be in violation of any component of the Code, he/she should confront the individual(s) to determine whether a breach of the Honor Code has occurred. If he/she is satisfied that no act of dishonesty occurred, the matter can be laid to rest. If the student chooses not to confront the individual(s) or is not satisfied with the result, he or she must contact the Chairperson of the Professional Standards and Conduct Board (PSCB). Failure to make a report to the PSCB represents a breach of the Student Honor Code. If a student has a question about whether an infraction has occurred, he or she may consult the PSCB Chairperson. The Chairperson shall inform the
accused student(s) that the issue is being brought to the Committee. The accused student(s) has the right to know his/her accuser.

2. Although reporting should normally be done through the standard channels such as those described above, Dartmouth has also contracted with EthicsPoint an independent third party as an additional option for concerns. This web-based service supplements existing offices on campus that help register concerns, including such issues as academic and research misconduct, child abuse, financial misconduct, sexual assault or abuse, or confidentiality concerns. Students may find it helpful to discuss standard options for reporting with the PSCB chair before considering utilizing this supplemental option.

Personal Conduct

Professionalism is one of Geisel’s core competencies required of all medical students and physicians. Students are expected to display the highest level of professional conduct at all times, following the personal conduct guidelines described below (and in the DHMC Code of Professional Conduct). Sanctions include, but are not limited to counseling, letters of concern, suspension or separation, and may result from violation of any of the following regulations:

• Each student is expected to exercise honesty and integrity in the performance of academic assignments, both in and outside the classroom. This Honor Code depends on the willingness of the student individually and collectively, to maintain and perpetuate standards of academic honesty. Each student accepts the responsibility not only to be honorable in his/her own academic affairs, but also to support the code as it applies to others. No student shall cheat, plagiarize or otherwise act dishonestly in the performance of academic work (This includes material used in patient work ups or admission notes.). Any student witnessing a student violation of this kind is obligated to report this violation to the PSCB.
• No student shall furnish false information to the medical school with intent to deceive.
• No student shall forge, alter or misuse any medical school documents and records.
• No student shall conduct himself or herself in a manner which fails to meet the standards of the medical profession or which interferes with the educational process.
• All clinical facilities associated with the Geisel School of Medicine are primarily locations for the delivery of patient care services. Medical students are expected to conduct themselves in a courteous and professional manner at all times.
• All medical students entering a patient care area of a clinical facility are expected to wear an identification tag showing the name of the student and the Geisel School of Medicine (Geisel). Students should be introduced to patients and staff as medical students. The only exception is when a student is visiting a patient as a visitor during regular visiting hours.
• Medical students are permitted in patient care areas only under the supervision of a faculty member of the Geisel School of Medicine and/or as part of a required or approved elective academic experience.
• Medical students are permitted access to a patient’s record only on a need-to-know basis and under the supervision of a physician or staff preceptor in clinical facility or as part of an approved special assignment.
• No medical student should participate in discussions about specific patients in public areas such as elevators, waiting areas, lobbies, gift shops, etc. Such discussions are to be considered privileged information.

In addition, students are expected to avoid situations that may result in unintentional breaches of confidentiality. Examples of unintentional breaches of confidentiality are:

o Discussing patients with their spouse or companion;
o Discussing patients by name (or in a way in which the patient can be identified) in elevators, halls, the cafeterias, or at social events where others may overhear;
o Discussing patients in an identifiable way with persons, including medical center personnel, who do not have a need to know about the case;
o Telling people outside the medical center about a patient in an identifiable way, even if you don’t think the person may be able to identify the patient;
o Being careless about schedules or lists, such as provider schedules and conference lists, containing names or patient-identifiable information. Such documents should be disposed of properly;
o Removing patient-identifiable information, whether recorded on paper or electronically, from patient care areas.

• Medical students on clinical clerkships and electives have access to patient care areas and other areas defined for interns and residents. This includes on-call rooms in which students on-call overnight may sleep.

On-Call Room Guidelines: On-call rooms are for medical students who are on-call. Improper use of on-call rooms is not acceptable. Students who violate these rules will be subject to disciplinary action. The guidelines are as follows:

Only Geisel medical students are allowed in the on-call rooms. No more than one person per room.
Sign your name on the white board in hallway indicating what room you plan to occupy.
Do not leave medical refuse (alcohol wipes, syringes, etc.) in rooms.
No food or drink in the rooms.
Be considerate and respectful of others.
Students who are post-call may use an on-call room for a nap prior to driving home if they feel too tired to drive safely

Daily On-Call Schedule at DHMC
1:00 p.m. On-Call Sign-Up Begins Sign-up for a room on the board in the On-Call area hallway.
1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Daily room check and cleaning; you must vacate your room, with your belongings, at that time. You may place your belongings in your Student Lounge locker until the room check is complete.
3:00 p.m. - 12:45 p.m. next day1:00 p.m. On-Call Sign-Up Begins Sign-up for a room on the board in the On-Call area hallway.
* Rooms that are vacant (not signed for on the board) will be locked by Housekeeping.
• While on clinical clerkships and electives medical students must be dressed in a neat, professional manner when in any patient care areas or performing their official duties. Specific expectations regarding dress will be set by individual clerkships and courses.
• Students are expected to treat patients with the utmost dignity, courtesy, and respect at all times.
• While on clinical clerkships and electives, medical students may be permitted to write medical orders for specific patients. All such orders must be reviewed, approved, and countersigned by a resident or staff physician before the orders are acted upon.
• Medical students are permitted in clinical laboratories as part of regular academic experiences.
• Medical students must keep their hospital computer system passwords confidential.
• No student shall misappropriate or maliciously destroy, damage, or misuse personal property of institutions providing facilities for medical students.
• No student shall misuse or abuse the institutional electronic mail system privileges.
• No student shall commit acts that would constitute a violation of the laws of the jurisdiction in which the acts were committed, or a violation of a Dartmouth College policy or regulation.