Share a Professionalism Concern

Duke University School of Medicine encourages the reporting of professionalism concerns in areas such as clinical education, learning environment, teams of people, or individuals (including students, trainees, staff and faculty)

How to Share a Concern About Faculty, Staff, Program, etc. 

Please complete the electronic professionalism notification form.

How to Share a Concern About a Student

If you have a concern about a student, there are multiple ways to inform the School of Medicine. 

First, you should always share your concern about a student face to face.  If you express concern to another individual, the student will likely be asked to comment and it is common courtesy to share your observations, concerns directly with the student.

Next, there are multiple, not mutually exclusive, means of informing the school about concern.  

Option 1: Faculty should share any/or all concerns about student performance with students electronically and “cc” the advisory dean as well. Faculty can identify which student is has which advisory dean by looking in DukeHub (the registrar/grading system).  

  • Send emails using “send secure”
  • Concerns should be specific and behaviorally based. 
  • After communicating with the advisory dean, the advisory dean will close the loop with faculty via electronic communication, though that information may be very non-specific to maintain student confidentially.  Usually the advisory dean will communicate with the student (or may have already), and the follow-up with you.  This is one reason you should FIRST communicate with the student directory.
  • If the concern was shared by a faculty member (not a course/clerkship director) the advisory dean will also inform the course/clerkship director about the concern if they deem it important to the individuals’ performance in those courses.

Option 2: If a faculty member/staff does not know the advisory dean and/or if the faculty wishes to do so, faculty may also complete an electronic professionalism notification form. 

Option 3: Faculty/Staff can/should also notify the 1st year course directors and/or clinical training committee about students of concern.  This allows students to receive the services they may need in order to succeed in subsequent courses.  The following process should be followed:

  • Write the appropriate committee, using “send secure” and include ONLY the students name.
  • During the committee meeting, behaviorally based anchors will be used to discuss students “The student was late to rounds several days in a row and appeared unkempt”.  Speculation “I think the patient is depressed or may have substance abuse issue” should not occur. 
  • The advisory dean will have already met with the student, or will meet with the student following this committee meeting. 
  • The Advisory Dean will report back to the committee, non-specifically (i.e. I met with the student and we have a plan in place to address the concerns) in order to maintain confidentially.
  • This closed loop communication will be documented within minutes for each of the specific committee meetings.
  • If deemed appropriate by the committee, the Assistant Dean of Basic Science/Clinical Education/Learning Environment will document this concern electronically through the professionalism notification progress.

Frequently Asked Questions

The only way for us to improve the education of our students, their care of patients and our educational program is to hear from students, faculty and staff about ways that we can improve. 

If you share a concern about an individual or team, we can help determine if individuals need specific help or remediation or if something is going in in their lives that need attention.   This is part of our Duke Health System Values “Caring for our patients, each other and ourselves.”

Anything!  We value your opinion.  Share a concern about anything- a person, a team, a clinical practice, or teaching practice, our curriculum. 

This form is set up using email triggers.  Depending on who was involved in the event, specific people will be identified.  For clinical education/teaching, the Assistant Dean of clinical education.  For a student, the Advisory Dean and Assistant Dean of learning environment.  For a resident, graduate medical education.  For a faculty member, the head of the professionalism accountability committee (PAC).   

If a student receives more than one professionalism notification through this process and in the same category of “unprofessional behavior”, it will be noted on the students MSPE.

Yes, this is an anonymous process.  The surveys are utilized through anonymous links and therefore you will be not identified when you complete the form. 

You will be asked if you would LIKE to receive follow-up- this does give you the opportunity to supply your name and email address if you wish.  This is not a required field.

If a potential safety concern is identified within this professionalism notification (a threat is made towards someone), we will attempt to follow-up/report this to the appropriate individuals, though this  may be difficult since the survey links are all intentionally anonymous.

It is possible that you will get follow-up.  You will be asked if you would LIKE to receive follow-up- this does give you the opportunity to supply your name and email address if you wish.  This is not a required field.

Please note that we will try to close the loop with you if you request follow-up, but this follow-up will often be quite non-specific, to protect the rights of the individuals about whom you have shared a concern.

There are many other appropriate ways to share concerns, such as through the AERS system for students (to report mistreatment), through the SRS system (to identify concerns about safety, faculty and resident behavior, etc).  However, we will provide links to these additional systems as part of this survey to allow you the opportunity to report your concerns in the appropriate venue.

1. Faculty may refer students for academic support (e.g., help with study skills, time management, test taking strategies) and will make additional referrals as needed (e.g., for test anxiety) by contacting Dr. Melanie Bonner.

2. The Student Disability Access Office (SDAO) has been charged by Duke University with the responsibility of exploring possible coverage and reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities for purposes of Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008.

3. Disability status and reasonable accommodation decisions are made by the SDAO for students across the university including undergraduates, graduates, professional, continuing education, visiting and inter-institutional as well as students attending the Watts School of Nursing and the Talent Identification Program (TIP).

4. The SDAO provides and coordinates accommodations, support services and programs that enable students with disabilities to maximize the quality of their experience at Duke University by preventing discrimination and providing equal access to Duke programs, services, and activities.

5. As Duke University continues its efforts to welcome individuals with disabilities, the number of qualified students with disabilities has continued to increase. In order for the University to ensure timely exploration of necessary accommodations, academic units have identified individuals to serve as Disability Service Liaisons who work in collaboration with the Director of the Student Disability Access Office. 

6. Disabilities may include, but are not limited to:

  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD)
  • Learning Disabilities (aka Learning Disorders)
  • Psychological Disorders (including Autism Spectrum Disorders)
  • Visual Impairments
  • Hearing Impairments
  • Mobility Impairments
  • Chronic Health Disorders

7. How faculty in the SOM are informed:Faculty members of students who are registered with the SDAO and approved to receive classroom accommodations will receive them.  In the SOM, any accommodations are shared with Dr. Caroline Haynes.  Testing accommodations are handled directly by the Office of Assessment and should not involve the clerkship director or coordinators unless the student asks for help from these individuals directly.  If there are questions about requests, please contact Dr. Caroline Haynes.