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Professionalism Policy

Academic Code of Professional Ethics

MSUCOM is committed to excellence in medical education, research, and service. This Code of Professional Ethics is to be adhered to by faculty, staff, and administration as they strive to excel in each of these areas while focusing on the fundamental principles of equity, accountability, and professional responsibility. This Code does not address every possible situation. Instead, it establishes a set of general principles and guidelines to which all MSUCOM faculty, staff and administration shall adhere while employed by Michigan State University. 

This Code does not supersede other Michigan State University or MSUCOM policies, regulations, agreements or guidelines. All faculty, staff, administrators and students shall adhere to MSU and MSUCOM policies, procedures, agreements and guidelines while conducting the duties and responsibilities of an employee. Violations of any of the aforementioned regulations, or this Code, are subject to disciplinary action, up to and including termination. 

Section 1: Professional Interaction

  1. The relationship between students and MSUCOM faculty, staff, and administrators shall be carried out in an environment that focuses on education, professionalism, and ethical conduct. 
  2. Students will receive guidance, leadership, and instruction from faculty, staff, and administration. Behavior that interferes with professional development, including harassment, discrimination and violence, will never be tolerated. MSUCOM faculty, staff and administrators can expect students to be accountable for their learning experience and to make an appropriate effort to acquire the skills and knowledge necessary to become effective practitioners. 
  3. Likewise, interactions between faculty, staff and administrators shall model professional behavior. 
  4. Additional rights and responsibilities of faculty, staff, administrators and students can be found at: faculty handbook, statement of professionalism, medical student rights and responsibilities, and MSU policies, regulations and ordinances regarding academic honesty and integrity. 

Section 2: Harassment and Discrimination

  1. MSUCOM is committed to maintaining an environment of respect and inclusivity.
  2. Harassment and discrimination, in any form, whether based upon an individual’s religion, race, color, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, height, weight, familial status, marital status, political persuasion, or veteran status will not be tolerated.
  3. University policies may be found at sexual harassment and equal employment & non-discrimination. 

Section 3: Legal Obedience

  1. All MSUCOM faculty, staff, administrators and students shall act lawfully, and in compliance with all applicable state and federal laws and with all MSU and MSUCOM policies, agreements, and guidelines. 
  2. This includes interaction with third parties and commercial entities. 

Section 4: Confidentiality

  1. MSUCOM faculty, staff, and administrators with access to confidential information shall maintain the confidentiality and privacy of that information in order to protect all involved parties. 
  2. Also, faculty, staff and administrators shall maintain the confidentiality of oral communications and shall respect the privacy and rights of students and disclose protected information only when authorized (student rights under the family educational rights and privacy act), for a legitimate business purpose, or as required by law. 

Section 5: Workplace Conduct

  1. It is the responsibility of all MSUCOM faculty, staff, administrators and students to create and maintain a workplace that is built upon honesty, professionalism, and ethical standards. 
  2. If a suspicion arises regarding a violation of any of these areas, or any other misconduct, a report should be made through the appropriate university or college channels, as outlined in applicable university policies or specific department guidelines. 

Section 6: Research and Scholarly Activity

  1. While conducting research, within the United States or abroad, MSUCOM faculty, staff, administrators and students shall adhere to all relevant laws, regulations, and standards, including those adopted by MSU (research integrity mission statement and guidelines for integrity in research and creative activities), and shall do so while maintaining high ethical standards and intellectual honesty. 

Section 7: Use of Facilities and Equipment

  1. MSUCOM faculty, staff, administrators and students shall use all university equipment and facilities efficiently, economically, and for authorized university purposes only, unless expressed permission has been granted for personal use in accordance with university policy. 

Section 8: Conflict of Interest

  1. A conflict of interest includes any situation, whether actual or perceived, where there is a reasonable expectation of direct or indirect benefit or loss (either financial or non-financial) for an individual with a personal interest that could be influenced in favor of that interest, in the performance of their duties. 
  2. MSUCOM faculty, staff, and administrators shall take appropriate steps to avoid or resolve any situation or relationship which may compromise the performance of their responsibilities. 
  3. Examples of potential conflicts of interest include but are not limited to: professional and personal relationships, gifts or benefits, and research conduct. 
  4. University and health team conflict of interest policies may be found at conflict of interest. 

Section 9: Professional Development

  1. MSUCOM seeks to enhance the students’ academic experience and to promote innovation in medical education. 
  2. All MSUCOM faculty, staff, and administrators shall continually maintain and develop knowledge and understanding of their field or area of expertise. 
  3. Active efforts should be made to seek out ways to improve individual and student performance. 
  4. Also, MSUCOM faculty, staff and administrators should continually maintain and develop and understanding of overall College organization and processes. 

Section 10: AAPA Code of Ethics

MSUCOM PA Medicine has adopted the AAPA Code of ethics, and all PAs employed by MSUCOM shall adhere to the guidelines outlined therein. 

Approved by the Faculty of the Department of PA Medicine on March 16, 2020