Professional Behavior

The College of Medicine expects all medical students to be professional in their interactions with patients, colleagues, faculty, and staff and to exhibit caring and compassionate attitudes. These, and other qualities will be evaluated during patient contacts and in other relevant settings by both faculty and peers. Behavior of a medical student reflects on the student’s individual’s ability to become a competent physician. Attitudes or behaviors inconsistent with compassionate care; refusal by, or inability of, the student to participate constructively in learning or patient care; derogatory attitudes or inappropriate behaviors directed at patients, peers, faculty or staff; misuse of written or electronic patient records (e.g., accession of patient information without valid reason); substance abuse; failure to disclose pertinent information on a criminal background check; or other unprofessional conduct can be grounds for dismissal. Professionalism is one of six competencies expected of the COM students; see specific requirements for professionalism below. For complete listing of all COM competencies see the University of Florida College of Medicine Medical Education Program Curriculum Overview.

Ethical and professional behaviors are the foundation of medicine. The College of Medicine requires each entering class to agree to the institution’s Code of Ethics.

During the four years of medical school, development of professional behavior is monitored by both the faculty and students. Faculty and peer evaluation of student adherence to the class Code of Ethics also is monitored. Formative peer evaluation of professional competence is solicited during the first three years. Summative peer evaluation of professional competence is documented following completion of the second and third years.

In conferring the M.D. degree, the University of Florida certifies that the student is competent to undertake a career as a Doctor of Medicine under supervised practice. The M.D. degree also certifies that, in addition to competency in medical knowledge and skills, the graduate possesses those personal traits essential to the profession of medicine as judged by the faculty, residents and the student’s peers.

Professionalism – Graduates will be able to:

  • Discuss and apply ethical standards of practice
  • Demonstrate humanistic and patient-centered care including respect, empathy, and compassion in their role as the patient’s advocate
  • Demonstrate strength of character and integrity including honesty, altruism, accountability, humility, and moral courage
  • Employ measures to balance clinical responsibilities with personal societal responsibilities
  • Strive for excellence in all professional endeavors
  • Consistently demonstrate the attitudes, values, and behaviors expected of one who thinks, acts, and will be a physician.