Federal Guidelines

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

In accordance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students are granted certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

1. The right to inspect her or his education records.

  • Education records include those records which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained as official working files by the University. They do not include records made by faculty and administrators for their own use and not shown to others; campus police records; employment records; records of physicians, psychologists, etc., made or used only for treatment purposes; and records containing information relating to a person's activities after she or he graduates or withdraws from the University.
  • Although FERPA regulations do not require institutions to provide copies of the education records unless to do so would effectively prohibit an individual from viewing her or his records, it is the policy of Duke University Medical School to make such copies available. However, the Medical School may deny requests to release copies of the transcripts of those students in financial default. The Medical School also does not release copies of other schools' transcripts unless mandated by FERPA.

2. The right to amend the contents of the education record to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.

3. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning perceived failure on the part of the school to satisfy the requirements of FERPA.

FERPA also limits the disclosure of personally identifiable information to others without the student's prior consent with the following exceptions:

Directory Information: Certain categories of information are considered to be directory information and do not require the student's prior written consent to be disclosed. However, the Medical School Registrar's Office complies with a student's request to withhold directory information if notice is submitted in writing during the first three weeks of each new academic year; such requests must be renewed annually.

Students considering nondisclosure should be aware that negative repercussions may result when inquiries are made by prospective employers, educational institutions, or other interested parties. This is particularly important for graduating students whose final nondisclosure requests continue to be honored until rescinded by the student.

The following have been designated as directory information by the University: name, address, telephone listing, email address, date and place of birth, photograph, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and most recent previous educational institution attended. Class schedule is considered as directory information in the School of Medicine. Some of this information will be made available as a student directory for use by fellow students, faculty, and School of Medicine staff. In addition, match results for residency placement will also be made available on the web.

Legitimate Interests: Prior consent is not required for disclosure of education records to school officials of Duke University who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests, appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, and in response to a court order or subpoena.

The complete university policy regarding FERPA is located on the website:

FERPA Hold Request

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, or HIPAA, requires health care professionals to protect privacy and create standards for electronic transfers of health data.

The Office for Civil Rights at the Department of Health and Human Services will enforce the regulations and impose penalties on institutions that do not make a good-faith effort on privacy and security.

HIPAA came about because of the public's concern about how health care information is used. HIPAA gives patients more control over their own health information. All Duke University School of Medicine students are required to complete online HIPAA training on an annual basis.

For more information about HIPAA, please refer to the following website, http://www.dukehealth.org/Privacy/HIPAA.

Available on-line training for HIPAA compliance

Graduation/Completion Rate:

Number of Graduates in the Doctor of Medicine Program during the 2010-2011 academic year = 104; Completion Rate: 99.5%; Number of Students that transferred out of the Doctor of Medicine Program: 0