Student mistreatment

Protocol for addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, mistreatment and other unprofessional behaviour

Note: The MD Program's Protocol is NOT for emergency use. Students concerned about impending harm to themselves or others should call 911 or seek immediate assistance from onsite security or other authorities. Student are asked to make a subsequent report as described in the Protocol, only after safety is ensured.

The MD Program places the utmost importance on the safety and well-being of students, and their ability to learn in an environment of professionalism, collegiality, civility and respect.

All members of the MD Program community have a joint responsibility to protect the integrity of the learning environment and a right to appropriate treatment and response when the environment is compromised.

The purpose of the MD Program's Protocol for addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, mistreatment and other unprofessional behaviour is to articulate procedures for University of Toronto medical students to report incidents of student discrimination, harassment, mistreatment and other incidents of unprofessionalism that they have experienced or witnessed, including how reported incidents will be managed and tracked.

Reporting mistreatment flowchartDownload the reporting mistreatment flowchart (PDF).

Incident reporting for students

To report an incident of discrimination, harassment or mistreatment, as defined in the Protocol, please contact the Associate Dean, Health Professions Student Affairs (HPSA) by email or by using the Incident Report Form.

For incidents of other types of unprofessional behaviour, as defined in the Protocol, students are encouraged to discuss the situation directly with the person whose behaviour seemed unprofessional, whenever possible. If for any reason the student does not feel comfortable engaging in such a discussion, or if the result of such a discussion is not satisfactory, then the student should contact one of the designated MD Program leaders identified in the Protocol by email or by using the Incident Report Form.

Can I speak to someone else instead of the people listed in the chart above or in the Protocol?

Yes, students have the option to make a report of an incident of unprofessional behaviour to any MD Program leader, teacher, or administrative staff member, according to personal comfort and preference. However, students should recognize that not all MD Program leaders, teachers, or staff members are equally well placed to provide assistance or other support in response to an incident, nor are they all equally capable of acting on the report to effectively address the particular incident or the system as a whole. Students should contact an individual with a suitable level of authority and knowledge of the context to address the situation appropriately, as described in the Protocol.

What will you do to help me, or to resolve the issue?

If you contact a MD Program leader, he/she will provide guidance, offer you access to resources and services as appropriate, consult university and/or hospital policies (as relevant) to determine the appropriate steps to be taken, and, if warranted, set in motion a formal reporting process. You should be aware that in most instances, issues cannot be fully addressed by one person alone. Therefore, it is likely the person you make the report to will enlist the involvement of others, with your permission.

Will anything change in the long-run?

The MD Program is committed to actively addressing concerning rates or trends of harmful incidents in collaboration with partners such as curriculum leaders, University departments, clinical affiliates, the decanal team, and others. This commitment includes the production of an annual report that summarizes concerning rates or trends regarding incidents of discrimination, harassment and mistreatment disclosed and/or reported by medical students, including any steps taken to address the rates or trends identified. Any data included in the report will be conveyed in aggregate only and in such a way that no individuals involved in the incidents are identifiable.

Related links

The MD Program's Protocol for addressing incidents of discrimination, harassment, mistreatment and other unprofessional behaviour is informed and governed by the University of Toronto, Faculty of Medicine, regulatory body and government statements, policies, protocols, codes and standards, which are listed in Appendix A of the Protocol

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