UBC’s Faculty of Medicine has been in the news this week. The story highlights concerns regarding the safety and wellbeing of students, which we are tackling head-on.
As the Dean, I want to reassure our community at large that any form of mistreatment of our students and learners that serves to diminish or cause harm is absolutely unacceptable. As a community, we cannot tolerate any behaviour that falls short of that principle.
To that end, I want to inform you of the three significant initiatives underway to address the issue of mistreatment – both in the prevention and response to complaints.
First, the Process to Address Complaints of Mistreatment of Learners or Concerns in the Learning Environment have recently been updated and its implementation is the shared responsibility of faculty leadership, including the Office of Clinical Partnerships & Professionalism, department heads and regional associate deans. It is essential that together we create a learning and work environment conducive to optimal education, research and clinical care. To achieve this goal, we must commit to the highest level of professional and respectful conduct, communications and interactions in all university-related activities.
Secondly, our mistreatment website directly addresses the reporting of mistreatment and concerns about the learning environment. This website provides all learners with support and resources. A new online reporting mechanism for medical undergraduate students is also available with the option to remain anonymous. Further, it will inform immediate and effective actions to be taken.
Thirdly, late last year, a Dean’s task force was formed with the mandate to improve the working and learning environment led by the Faculty’s Executive Vice Dean. This will include active engagement and dialogue with faculty, staff and learners on matters of leadership, culture, modeling good behaviors and the crucial importance of intervention.
While we have work to do to address this critical issue of mistreatment, I want to acknowledge that the vast majority of experiences within the learning environment are safe and positive.
Further, I want to emphasize that a safe and productive learning environment is all of our responsibility and we must never pass by inappropriate behaviour.
Together with our partners, we all have the immense privilege to train the next generation of doctors, health professions and researchers, but we can’t accomplish that without upholding a culture that is safe and equitable for everyone. I look forward to achieving this together.
Dermot Kelleher, MD, FRCP, FRCPI, FMedSci, FCAHS, FRCPC
Dean, Faculty of Medicine
The University of British Columbia
This message was sent to all faculty, staff and learners in the Faculty of Medicine.