Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of the Honor Code and where can I learn more about its implementation and use?
IU School of Medicine has had a long-standing commitment to the values articulated in the Honor Code, and these values are foundational to the school’s mission and strategic plan. Therefore, IU School of Medicine expects all community members to act in ways consistent with these values as described in the Honor Code; embodying such values is essential to warrant the trust placed in IU School of Medicine community members by patients, families, peers, and society at large and to begin to address existing disparities in healthcare. Periodic renewal of each IU School of Medicine community member’s commitment to the Honor Code underscores the importance of the values outlined in the document and ensures IU School of Medicine community members are perpetually aware of the expectations the Honor Code contains and the pledge they have taken to uphold it.
For further information, please review the IU School of Medicine Honor Code and the IU School of Medicine Honor Code Policy.
How does the Honor Code pertain to the right of freedom of speech?
IU School of Medicine recognizes the fact that free intellectual inquiry, debate, and constructive dialogue are vital to the university’s academic mission and must be protected even when the views expressed are unpopular or controversial. Accordingly, any form of speech or expressive conduct that is protected by state or federal law, including the First Amendment, is not subject to this policy. This policy is meant neither to proscribe nor to inhibit discussions of complex, controversial, or sensitive matters.
The Honor Code says “I will take responsibility for what I say and do in my personal and professional activities.” How does the Code pertain to my behavior outside of IU School of Medicine?
The Honor Code requires IU School of Medicine community members to act in accordance with the Honor Code in the presence of patients, learners, amongst peers, in any professional setting, and whenever they are representing IU School of Medicine. IU School of Medicine community members should also recognize that they are often looked to as leaders and role models within the larger community and should behave as such.
I would like to share a concern directly with a colleague. What is the best way to approach the conversation?
The “Cup of Coffee Conversation” approach is a peer to peer supportive and collegial conversation to raise awareness and help a colleague understand a disconnect between what was reported or observed and what is expected. It is essentially a bystander intervention and approach to self-governance to help colleagues hold each other accountable to community commitments.
This model began at Vanderbilt Center for Patient and Professional Advocacy as an approach to addressing disruptive providers and patient safety concerns. They developed a highly effective model where the first line of intervention for a professionalism lapse is this peer-peer conversation, often over a cup of coffee, to point out what was observed, with escalating responses when warranted.
At IU School of Medicine we use the Graduated Response to Mistreatment, based on the Vanderbilt model. Individuals are asked to have informal “cup of coffee” type conversations when a first incident, non-egregious lapse in professionalism is observed or reported. The goal is to bring it to the other individual’s attention as behavior that is not consistent with what is expected.
The following principles should be followed by the individual initiating the conversation:
- Minimize distractions – speak in private
- Balance empathy and objectivity
- Avoid tendency to downplay seriousness
- Anticipate a range of responses
- Be specific, stick with the facts
- Be supportive and compassionate
- Don’t initiate this conversation if or when you are angry, frustrated, or otherwise not able to readily self-regulate your own reaction
To learn more about having such conversations, IU School of Medicine has created an online module entitled "Discussing Lapses in Professionalism with Colleagues: The Cup of Coffee Conversations."
How does IU School of Medicine handle individuals with ongoing patterns of professionalism concerns?
Level 1 – cup of coffee conversation peer to peer; IU School of Medicine has created a module Discussing Lapses in Professionalism with Colleagues: The Cup of Coffee Conversations to help individuals learn how to successfully have a cup of coffee conversation with a peer or colleague. The module can be found on the Understanding and Preventing Mistreatment in the Learning Environment modules in Canvas.
Level 2 – Conversation between individual and supervisor/chair with review of the IU School of Medicine Honor Code, some expectations for professional development, and documentation of the meeting to be included in the individuals annual review.
Level 3 – Performance Improvement Plan (PIP) needed at this step which may include mandatory professional development under a specific timeline.
Level 4 – Egregious acts or behavior requiring disciplinary action would be sanctioned per the operative policy pertaining to the conduct.
When a performance improvement plan is developed, what kinds of things are typically included?
The specific activities required in a performance improvement plan depend on the nature of the concerns raised. The ultimate goal of any performance improvement plan is professional development and improvement. For example, when a concern regarding learner mistreatment is raised, the expectations are generally focused on teaching development. Sample activities may include required attendance at sessions of the Academy of Teaching Scholars or Center for Teaching and Learning; a mandatory peer review of teaching; completion of the online module “Understanding and Preventing Learner Mistreatment.” When warranted, DEI training through OEO or FAPDD or other resources is also expected. If you believe a performance improvement plan is warranted for an IU employee, please contact IU School of Medicine Faculty Relations (Neelam Chand, firstname.lastname@example.org; Rebekah Eichholtz, email@example.com; or, Patriece Roulette Landis, firstname.lastname@example.org).
I wonder if my supervisor is just a tough boss or if I might be getting bullied. How can I tell the difference?
For a more detailed view of the differences between tough bosses and workplace bullies review the Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM) article by Teresa A. Daniel titled Tough Boss or Workplace Bully? published on June 1, 2009 in the SHRM HR Magazine, which is the source for the below material.
Workplace bullies tend to:
- Frequently misuse power and authority.
- Focus on personal self-interest, as opposed to the good of the organization.
- Have emotional outbursts.
- Treat their employees inconsistently and unfairly.
The manager who engages in these negative behaviors appears to operate with intent to cause his or her target some kind of pain or personal distress.
Tough bosses tend to be:
- Objective, fair, and professional.
- Self-controlled and unemotional.
- Performance-focused—insistent upon meeting high standards and holding employees accountable for meeting those expectations.
- Organizationally oriented—consistently operating to achieve the best interests of the organization.
These managers use frequent two-way communication and listen to their employees, as well as mentor subordinates through coaching, counseling, and frequent performance feedback.*
If you still have questions or are unsure if you are being bullied please contact IU School of Medicine Faculty Relations or IUPUI Office of Equal Opportunity.
*Material from Society of Human Resources Management magazine
Where can I learn more about unconscious bias and other issues related to DEI?
To learn more, enroll in the IU School of Medicine Unconscious Bias module on Canvas. Once enrolled, you are able to review the IU School of Medicine FAPDD Unconscious Bias One Page under modules for further definitions, types and explanations of unconscious bias. There are also frequent training opportunities provided by FAPDD, IUPUI Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and IU Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs.
What additional policies are related to the IU School of Medicine Honor Code?
Related policies include, but are not limited to:
IU School of Medicine Honor Code Policy and System (fap-adm-0006)
IU School of Medicine Teacher-Learner Conduct Policy
IU Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities and Conduct
IU Non-Discrimination/Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Policy
IU Discrimination, Harassment, and Sexual Misconduct Policy
IU Authorization Requirements for Use and Disclosure of PHI (HIPAA-PO3)
IU Research Misconduct Policy (ACA-30)
IU School of Medicine GME Teacher-Learner Conduct and Unprofessional Behavior Policy
IU School of Medicine GME Relations with Colleagues (IUSM-GME-PO-0024)
IU School of Medicine Academic Misconduct Policy (edu-cur-0015)
IU School of Medicine Student Promotions Committee Guidelines for Promotion, Suspension, and Withdrawal (edu-emr-0004)
IU School of Medicine Medical Student Social Media and Online Activity Policy (edu-adm-007)
IU School of Medicine Academic Appeals for Graduate and Professional Students in Graduate Division Programs (grd-sa-0002)
I’m a medical student, what other policies should I be aware of?
Policies related to medical students can be found in the Medical Student Handbook. Medical students are also subject to many IU-wide policies and are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with and compliant with all applicable policies.
I’m a graduate student, what other policies should I be aware of?
Relevant policies including the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, & Conduct, IU School of Medicine Academic Appeals for Graduate and Professional Students in Graduate Division Programs (grd-sa-0002), and the IU Cheating and Plagiarism Policy (ACA-72) may be helpful to review. Graduate students are also subject to many IU-wide policies and are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with and compliant with all applicable policies.
I’m in the Health Professions Program, what other policies should I be aware of?
Relevant policies including the Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, & Conduct and the IU Cheating and Plagiarism Policy (ACA-72) may be helpful to review. Health Professions Program students are also subject to many IU-wide policies and are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with and compliant with all applicable policies.
I’m a resident or fellow, what other policies should I be aware of?
The policies relevant to residents and fellows are found on the Graduate Medical Education (GME) Policies webpage. Additionally, please review the IU School of Medicine Graduate Medical Education Handbook and the GME Teacher-Learner Conduct and Unprofessional Behavior Policy. Residents and fellows are also subject to many IU-wide policies and are responsible for ensuring they are familiar with and compliant with all applicable policies.
I’m a staff or temporary employee, what other policies should I be aware of?
The policies relevant to staff and temporary employees are found on the IU School of Medicine Staff Policies and IU Human Resources Policies pages. For additional information, please reach out to your department Human Resource Business Partner, or Dawn Wright (email@example.com) to be connected to the correct individual.