DHMC Code of Professional Conduct

Preface

The Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) and its component institutions are committed to excellence in:

To further the goal of excellence, all professionals at DHMC are expected to adhere to the Code of Professional Conduct in their interactions with patients, colleagues, other health professionals, students, other trainees, and the public.

The Code of Professional Conduct is a series of principles and their subsidiary rules that govern professional interactions. The Code consists of two complementary sections: professional obligations and professional ideals. "Obligations" refer to necessary professional behaviors that are required by the ethical foundation of medical practice, teaching, learning, and research. "Ideals" refer to desirable professional behaviors that professionals at all levels should attempt to acquire because they enhance professional excellence.

The Code applies to all professionals at DHMC involved in the clinical, teaching, research, and administrative activities of the Center. Because of its broad reach, certain portions of the Code will be more directly applicable to some disciplines than to others. For example, the clinical portions apply to medical students, physicians, nurses, physician's assistants, nurse practitioners, and all other professionals engaged in patient care. Similarly, those portions pertaining to teaching and research apply to all professionals engaged in teaching and research regardless of discipline or level of training. The portions pertaining to students apply to trainees at all levels. The general portions of the Code which discuss confidentiality, conflicts of interest, interpersonal relations, and the professional ideals apply to all DHMC professionals.

Failure to meet the professional obligations described below represents a violation of the DHMC Code of Professional Conduct. Items marked with an asterisk indicate behaviors that also may violate federal or state laws. Alleged infractions of the professional obligations of the Code will be dealt with by the appropriate DHMC disciplinary committees and processes. Alleged failure to meet the professional ideals, although less serious, also may be grounds for disciplinary review.

A. Professional Obligations

1. Respect for Persons

2. Respect for Patient Confidentiality

3. Honesty, Integrity

4. Responsibility for Patient Care

5. Awareness of Limitations, Professional Growth

6. Deportment as a Professional

7. Avoiding Conflicts of Interest

8. Responsibility for Peer Behavior

9. Respect for Personal Ethics

10. Respect for Property and Laws

11. Integrity in Research

B. Professional Ideals

1. Clinical Virtues

2. Conscientiousness

3. Collegiality

4. Personal Health

5. Objectivity

6. Responsibility to Society

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