Institutional Policies and Guidelines

In accordance with the requirements of the Education Law of the State of New York, the Trustees of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have adopted rules and regulations for the maintenance of order and have established a program to enforce these rules and regulations.

If you violate these policies and regulations, we will refer you to the Dean for Medical Education or Dean of the Graduate School. We will handle any violations as set forth in this Student Handbook.

The School of Medicine in concert with the other medical schools in the state has formally stated its commitment to accept as its most fundamental responsibility the care of all patients seen in its facilities, including those who are positive for the human immune deficiency virus (HIV). This commitment extends to all faculty, residents, and students. We are equally committed to the education and counseling of all health care professionals including medical students, to eliminate misperceptions concerning the risks of caring for AIDS as well as the appropriate precautions for prevention of transmission of HIV, Hepatitis-B virus, and other blood-borne infections.

The School of Medicine reserves the right to request an administrative psychiatric evaluation at any time for any reason. We will discuss the evaluation request with the student and send specific questions to the Director of Student Mental Health for assessment. The Office for Student Affairs (Medical School) or Program Director (Graduate School) will receive a written response from the psychiatrist regarding the student. The response is password protected in the student’s file. The purpose of the evaluation always stems from concern for the student and a request for information to help in academic counseling. The evaluator may make specific recommendations to the School administration, which can then impose certain requirements on the student. Examples include required intervals for psychotherapy, mandated drug testing, or repeat administrative evaluations. Refusal to comply with an administrative evaluation or with recommendations stemming from an administrative evaluation is grounds for dismissal. We do not include these evaluations in the MSPE or share them with outside entities unless legally subpoenaed.

It is the policy of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai to make all decisions regarding educational and employment opportunities and performance on the basis of merit and without discrimination because of age, race, color, language, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic disposition, ethnicity, culture, creed, national origin, citizenship physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, veteran status, military status, marital status, being the victim of spousal abuse, or based on any other characteristic protected by law.

In keeping with our continuing efforts to achieve a broadening of the representation of women and minority groups throughout the medical school, we have:

A.  Developed an Affirmative Action Program that details actions designed to realize the School's commitment to equal educational and employment opportunities.

B.  Insured our compliance with federal, state, and local laws and regulations implementing equal opportunity objectives by meeting the spirit as well as the letter of the law and contractual requirements.

We cannot over-emphasize our commitment to realizing these goals. Every decision affecting faculty, house staff, fellows, graduate students, employees, medical students, and other members of the medical school community rests solely on demonstrably valid criteria of merit, competence, and experience.

You can find additional information concerning the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai’s Affirmative Action Program through the Human Resources Department of the Mount Sinai Health System.

The following statement describes the Mount Sinai Health System’s policy regarding substance abuse for all employees, which include faculty, administration, house staff, students, graduate students, fellows, bargaining, and non-bargaining unit employees. The Icahn School of Medicine has a significant interest in ensuring that the work environment is free from the hazards to patients, employees, and visitors that are created due to the unauthorized use of alcohol, drugs, or controlled substances.

The illegal sale, manufacture, distribution, or unauthorized use of drugs or controlled substances off-duty, whether on or off the School of Medicine’s premises, or reporting to classes, clerkships, or laboratory research under the influence of unauthorized drugs or controlled substances may constitute grounds for immediate dismissal.

The unauthorized use or possession of alcoholic beverages on the Icahn School of Medicine’s premises or reporting to the School under the influence of alcohol also may constitute grounds for immediate dismissal.

The School of Medicine may choose to take appropriate disciplinary action up to and including termination or expulsion against anyone who has violated the above rules. In some cases, we may refer the individual in question to the institutional Inappropriate Use of Psychoactive Substances (IUPS) Committee to make recommendations for counseling, treatment and/or monitoring through Student/Trainee Mental Health or another agency. We are under no obligation to refer an employee or student who has violated the above rules to Student/Trainee Mental Health or to a rehabilitation program. You can find additional information about the IUPS and processes for students who have been found to abuse substances in this institutional policy

Any employee or student who is suspected of being under the influence of any alcoholic beverage or drug while on duty and who refuses to be medically evaluated or to release the results of such evaluation to the School of Medicine (as employer) or appropriate administrative officer of the School will be relieved from duty and will be subject to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal.

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 requires Mount Sinai, as a federal grant recipient and contractor, to certify that it provides a drug-free workplace. We accomplish this by 1) providing to each employee or student engaged in a federal grant or contracts a copy of The Health System's Drug-Free Workplace policy and statement, and 2) requiring that as a condition of employment under such a grant or contract the employee will:

  • Abide by the terms of this statement.
  • Notify the Director of Human Resources and Labor Relations or his/her designee of any criminal drug statute conviction for a violation occurring in the workplace no later than five (5) days after such conviction.

We have established a Drug-Free Awareness Program to inform all employees about the dangers of drug abuse in the workplace; our policy of maintaining a drug-free workplace; the availability of drug counseling, rehabilitation, and student/trainee mental health services; and the potential penalties for drug abuse violations.

Drug Testing

  • All incoming students must undergo drug/alcohol screening. We may also require subsequent drug/alcohol testing of any student, at any time, including:
  • When concerns about substance use issues arise, or concerns about behaviors prompt concern for substance abuse
  • When an administrative evaluation is requested (see Administrative Evaluation Section below)
  • When any student returns from a leave of any kind
  • When a student self-reports a problem
  • As part of a monitoring program for students with previous substance abuse or positive drug tests

Failure to undergo testing as requested will result in dismissal from the School.

Alcohol Policy—Levinson Student Center

The policy of the School of Medicine regarding alcoholic beverages in the Patricia and Robert Levinson Student Center is to maximize student use of the Center while assuring that clear policies are in place. Alcohol is permitted in the Student Center at events sponsored by student organizations or Departments within Icahn School of Medicine under the following circumstances:

  • A student-run organization that is recognized by Student Council or a medical school department is sponsoring the event.
  • No student or guest under the age of 21 will be served or permitted to consume any alcoholic beverage.
  • Alcoholic beverages are not sold at the event.
  • Alcohol will not be taken out of the Student Center into other areas of Mount Sinai.
  • Alcohol will only be served by hired vendors with active liquor licenses or a student group/department that has obtained a temporary liquor license from the New York State Liquor Authority
  • Serving alcoholic beverages will be in the context of serving food and non-alcoholic beverages.
  • A specific student group or department must be identified as responsible for the event.
  • The responsible party will monitor the event so that anyone who is clearly intoxicated is not served any more alcohol.
  • If a person has become intoxicated, steps should be taken to try and help the individual sober up prior to leaving the party.
  • The responsible party monitoring the event must make certain that any person that has become intoxicated will not be allowed to drive. The responsible party should provide cab fare and, if necessary, an escort to ensure that the person gets home safely.
  • The Department of Medical Education cannot reimburse students or student groups for alcohol purchases.

Please contact the Assistant Director, Student Affairs for questions or concerns.

Being listed as an author on a paper, chapter, or other work documents the contributions you have made to a published work. Thus, authorship constitutes a key criterion by which funding agencies, academic institutions, and the wider academic community judge the contributions of academics to their fields. Appropriate assignment of authorship is an essential component of ethical conduct for academics.

Authorship on a publication implies substantial contribution to work being reported, which entails critical intellectual and/or technical contributions without which the publication as it exists would not have been possible. Contributions that merit authorship include a significant role in planning the studies, writing the manuscript, and other essential roles involving specialized skills. The International Committee of Medical Journal Editors (ICMJE) guidelines recommend that each author have responsibility for at least one component of the work, and that all authors approve the final version. Listing the explicit contributions of each author, as many journals currently require, is indeed a valuable and recommended method for disclosing and clarifying the rationale for the inclusion and order of authors. The contributions of colleagues or collaborators whose participation does not warrant authorship should be acknowledged.

The requirement of substantial contribution clearly precludes unethical practices such as honorary authorships for senior colleagues who made minimum contributions to the work, colleagues whose role was solely to obtain funding or similar resources for the work, or contracted individuals who simply carried out routine services for hire. This same principle precludes omitting from authorship colleagues who did make substantial contributions. Ghostwriting, in which an individual takes credit as an author of a manuscript substantially written by an uncredited third party, is never permissible. In summary, authorship credit can be established by the following three criteria: (1) providing substantial contributions to study concept and design, or acquisition, analysis, and interpretation of data critical for the study; (2) drafting the article or revising its content critically; and (3) approving the final version to be published. All authors listed on an article must fulfill criteria (1) and/or (2), and must fulfill criterion (3).

We expect that all of the authors will discuss the inclusion and order of authors (including students and postdoctoral fellows). You should have this discussion as early in the scientific process as possible, prior to drafting the manuscript when feasible and certainly prior to submission of the manuscript for initial peer review. Such dialogue is essential for all manuscripts and requires exceptional attention in collaborations involving multiple laboratories or institutions. Whether a contribution is substantial enough to merit authorship may sometimes be a matter of judgment, usually decided by the senior author(s). After the senior author(s) has assigned authorship and order of authorship, in consultation with, and preferably also in agreement with all authors, the senior author(s) should be able to defend the assignments based on the principles articulated above. Final decision on authorship rests with the senior author(s). We strongly urge members of the scientific team to resolve any disagreements concerning authorship as quickly and amicably as possible, to avoid ongoing disputes that could impede or prevent publication of a manuscript. If the team cannot resolve a disagreement, you should consult the Department Chair for guidance.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has designated the following information from your education record as "directory information," which may be disclosed under FERPA without your permission:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Degree program(s) and major field of study
  • Degree(s) earned and date(s)
  • Dates of attendance
  • Full-/part-time enrollment status
  • Name(s) of parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • Address(es) of parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • Phone numbers of parent(s) or legal guardian(s)
  • Academic awards and honors
  • Icahn School of Medicine email address
  • Prior postsecondary institution(s) attended
  • Photograph/digitized image
  • Participation in officially recognized Icahn School of Medicine activities

Please note that your contact information is included in the student directory and published through Blackboard.

Preventing Disclosure of Directory Information

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Office of the Registrar will exercise discretion in the release of all directory information. In addition, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai does not release or sell directory information to any outside entity for commercial, marketing, or solicitation purposes.

We maintain a variety of records including:

1. Admissions files

  • Application form
  • Supplemental form
  • Transcripts
  • Acceptance letters
  • Medical College Admission Test scores

2. Academic files (Registrar)

  • Transcript of grades at the Icahn School of Medicine
  • Course, clerkship, elective, and other evaluations
  • Qualifying exam outcome
  • Thesis documentation
  • National Board scores
  • Shelf scores
  • Dean's letter
  • Correspondence and internal communications pertaining to academic and other matters

3. Financial Aid records

  • Application
  • FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) forms
  • Need Access forms
  • Student and parent(s) tax and income information
  • Proof of citizenship
  • Draft status
  • Drug conviction information (if any)

4. Bursar records

  • Record of receipt of all loans and scholarships
  • Record of cash/payments paid and date paid

Academic records are only those that pertain to official files kept in perpetuity in the Office of the Registrar. They may include:

  • Paper documents
  • Electronic documents*
  • Microfiche/microfilm
  • Film, photographs

*The Empower Student Information System is the repository for student records. It is the centralized, official school system that ensures the integrity of the student and school data. It serves as a repository for basic student information including name, family address, mailing address, school address, school email, personal email, date of birth, previous schools, national test scores, program of study, credentials, courses, grades, student status, and degree(s) earned.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 and its subsequent amendments afford students certain rights with respect to your educational records. As detailed below, you have the right to:

  • Inspect and review your education records
  • Seek amendment of your education records if you believe them to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights
  • Consent to certain disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records
  • File complaints with the Department of Education concerning any alleged failure to comply with FERPA’s requirements

Student Access Rights

As current or former students of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, you have the right to review and inspect your official education records at the School (including, for example, admissions and academic records prepared and maintained by the Registrar). If you wish to review your records, you should make an appointment with the Registrar. You will receive access within 45 days of receipt of the written request to inspect records.

You have a right to a response to a reasonable request for explanations and interpretations of the student’s educational records. If you seek an explanation or interpretation of your educational record, you may make an appointment with the Associate Dean of the Graduate School or Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in Medical Education, whoever is more appropriate for your program. If the Associate Dean cannot provide a satisfactory explanation, the dean will refer you to the Dean for Graduate Education or Dean for Medical Education, as appropriate.

You may not copy records unless the failure to produce copies would prevent you from exercising your right to inspect and review records. We charge a copying fee.

Limitation on Access

There are some legal limits within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. These include:

A. The Act limits the rights of you, as a student, to access information contained in your education records. Accordingly, the School need not permit you to view:

1) Financial records, including information regarding your parent(s), such as parental tax forms and other parental records submitted in support of your financial aid application or claim of New York residence.

2) Confidential statements and letters of recommendation placed in your file prior to January 1, 1975, provided they are used for the purpose for which they were specifically intended.

3) Confidential letters of recommendation placed in your file after January 1, 1975, if:

i. You have waived in a signed writing your right to inspect and review those letters (see below); and

ii. The letters are related to your (i) admission to an educational institution; (ii) application for employment; or (iii) receipt of an honor or honorary recognition.

Records of instructional, administrative and supervisory staff who are in the sole possession of such personnel.

B. Records of professional and paraprofessional personnel that are created, maintained, and used solely for treatment purposes and are disclosed only to individuals providing the treatment. As a student, you have the right, however, to have your records reviewed by an appropriate professional of your choice.

C. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai does not require you to waive your right of access to educational records as a condition for admission to the School, for receipt of financial aid or other services or benefits from the School, or for any other purpose. Under certain circumstances, however, you may wish to waive your right of access to confidential letters of recommendation. You may do so by signing a waiver form. In this event, we will inform you when a request is made, including the names of persons making such recommendations. The recommendations will be used solely for the purpose for which they are intended. A waiver may be revoked in writing, which will affect any actions occurring after the revocation. Waiver forms are available in the Registrar's Office.

Amendments and Hearing Rights

If you believe your education records contain information that is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your rights of privacy, you may ask the School to amend the record. Please direct any requests for amendments to the Registrar, who will respond to the request within a reasonable time. If we deny the request, we will inform you of your right to appeal that decision as specified below.

If we deny your request for an amendment, you may request a hearing to challenge the content of the record on the grounds that the information contained in the record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your privacy rights. Submit your request for a hearing in writing to the Associate Dean for Graduate Education or the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs in Medical Education (as appropriate) within 10 days of receiving the Registrar’s response denying a request for amendment.

Hearing

This hearing will occur as follows:

  • It will be held before the Dean for Graduate Education or the Dean for Medical Education, as appropriate.
  • It will be held within a reasonable time after receipt of the request for a hearing. We will give you notice of the date, time, and place of the hearing.
  • You will have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to show that the information at issue is inaccurate, misleading, or violates your privacy rights. You may be assisted or represented by an individual of your choosing, including an attorney. The role of attorneys, however, may be limited at the discretion of the Dean hearing the case.
  • We will render the decision, which shall include a summary of the evidence presented at the hearing and reasons for the decision, in writing within 15 business days after the conclusion of the hearing. This hearing will relate only to whether your record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your rights to privacy, with the decision based solely on evidence presented at this hearing. The hearing cannot determine whether a higher grade should have been assigned.

If the hearing finds that the record in question should be amended, the Registrar will take appropriate steps to amend the record and will so notify you in writing. If the hearing determines hat the record is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights, you will have the right to place a statement in the record commenting on the contested information in the record or stating why you disagrees with the School’s decision not to amend the record. This statement will be maintained as part of the record and will be disclosed whenever the part of the record to which the statement relates is disclosed.

All students have the right to file complaints to the Senior Director of Enrollment Services and Student Information concerning alleged failures by the School to comply with the requirements of the Act.

Release of Personally Identifiable Information

There are several ways in which we might release personally identifiable information. These include:

Disclosure with Consent

  1. You shall provide a signed and dated written consent form before the School will disclose personally identifiable information from your educational record. The consent must (i) specify the records that may be disclosed; (ii) state the purpose of the disclosure; and (iii) identify the party or class of parties to whom we can make the disclosure.
  2. When a disclosure with consent is made, the School will, upon your request, give you a copy of the records disclosed.

Disclosure without Consent

  1. The Act permits the School to disclose personally identifiable information from your education records without your consent under any one of the following circumstances:
    1. To an official or duly constituted committee of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai that requires access in connection with legitimate educational interests, including, but not limited to matters of financial aid, promotion, or consideration for election to the Lambda Chapter, Alpha Omega Alpha, or other honors.
    2. To officials of another school where you seeks or intends to enroll. We will make copies of the records available upon request.
    3. Disclosures in connection with financial aid for which you have applied or have received, if the information is necessary to (i) determine eligibility or conditions for the aid; (ii) determine the amount of the aid; or (iii) enforce terms and conditions of federal, state, or private regulations governing such aid.
    4. Pursuant to a judicial order or valid subpoena. In certain cases specified by law, the School will make a reasonable effort to notify you of the order or subpoena in advance of the compliance therewith.
    5. In connection with certain types of litigation between the School and you.
    6. To parents of a dependent child as defined by the Internal Revenue Code.
    7. In a health or safety emergency, where disclosure is necessary to protect the health or safety of you or another individuals or as otherwise provided by FERPA.
    8. In a directory, as set forth below.
    9. To an alleged victim of a crime of violence, where the information disclosed is the final results of School disciplinary proceedings with respect to the crime or offense.
    10. Disclosure in connection with certain disciplinary proceedings.
    11. Certain disclosures to your parents regarding your violation of any federal, state or local law, or any rule or School policy governing use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances.
    12. To authorized federal, state, or local officials and to accrediting bodies of the School.
  2. The School will maintain a record of each request for access and each disclosure of personally identifiable information from educational records as required by FERPA regulations.
  3. The School will make a reasonable attempt to notify you of disclosures made pursuant to Section 1(a) and 1(c-l) above. Upon request, the School will give you a copy of the record disclosed. You have a right to a hearing to challenge certain disclosures consistent with the procedures outlined above.

The relationship between the Medical School and industry (including pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device, and hospital and research equipment and supplies industries) can be complicated. These guidelines are meant to protect the integrity of medical education and the care of future patients. They highlight the types of decisions that you, as a medical student, will face, implicitly or explicitly, for the remainder of your professional careers. As such, the guidelines encourage critical thought about the interactions between physicians in training and industry.

Scope

The students of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, while on campus, at affiliated hospitals and clinics, and during any meeting in which medical information is being transferred.

Gifts and Compensation

Meals or other types of food directly funded by industry should not be provided at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We encourage students to critically evaluate their acceptance of food and the circumstances under which it is proffered by industry representatives during clinical training at The Mount Sinai Hospital, Mount Sinai clinics, affiliates, and off-campus training and gathering sites.

Promotional itemssuch as pens, note pads, brochures, and other “reminder” items should not be distributed at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We discourage you from bringing such items into the School of Medicine, so we can maintain a learning environment free of industry influence. Brochures and other industry-sponsored educational material should not be used for educational purposes.

Please refer to applicable policies such as the AMA Statement on Gifts to Physicians from Industry, and the Accrediting Council for Continuing Medical Education Standards for Commercial Support.

Giftssuch as aforementioned promotional items (e.g., textbooks, tickets, entertainment) or monetary compensation of any value, should not be accepted from industry representatives both on and off the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai campus, related or unrelated to your participation in events sponsored by industry.

Sample Medicationsshould not be distributed on the campus of the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. We encourage you to critically assess the circumstances under which sample medications are used on and off-campus: who receives them, and why. You should not accept sample medication for personal use or sale.

Provision of Scholarships and Other Educational Funds

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai physicians and teaching staff should ensure that support of our students by industry, is free of any actual or perceived conflict of interest. This includes funding mechanisms such as scholarships, reimbursement of travel expenses, or other non-research funding in support of scholarship or training

Industry support must comply with all of the following:

  • The School of Medicine department, program, or division selects the student.
  • The funds are given directly to the department, program, or division and not to the student.
  • The department, program, or division determines that the conference or training in question has educational merit.
  • The student-recipient of funds is not subjected to any implicit or explicit expectation of providing something in return for any support given.

This provision may not apply to national or regional merit-based awards, which are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Support for Educational Programs

Icahn School of Medicine medical students should be familiar with the Standards for Commercial Support established by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education. These standards offer useful ways to assess all forms of industry interactions, both on and off campus, and including both Icahn School of Medicine-sponsored events and other events. The standards can be found on the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) website.

A. All educational events sponsored by industry on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai campus must comply fully with ACCME guidelines whether or not you receive formal CME credit.

B. If attendees are going to receive CME credit is, the conference should illustrate to students some of the decisions that affect the sponsorship and provision of information more generally:

1. All decisions concerning educational needs, objectives, content, methods, evaluation, and speaker are made without commercial interest. (ACCME Standard 1.1)

2. A commercial interest is not assuming the role of a non-accredited partner in a joint sponsorship. (ACCME Standard 1.2)

3. All persons in a position to control the content of an educational activity have disclosed all relevant financial relationships to the CME provider. A relevant financial relationship is one in which an individual (or spouse or partner) has a commercial interest that benefits the individual in any financial amount. This financial benefit could have occurred any time within the past 12 months. Failure to disclose these relationships will result in disqualification of the individual from participation in the CME activity or its planning or evaluation. (ACCME Standard 1.1, 1.2)

4. The lecturer explicitly describes all their related financial relationships to the audience at the beginning of the educational activity. If an individual has no relevant financial relationship, the learners should be informed that no relevant financial relationship exists. (ACCME Standard 6.1, 6.2)

5. The lecturer clarifies and resolves all conflicts of interest prior to delivering the educational activity to learners. (ACCME Standard 2.3)

6. We establish written policies and procedures that govern honoraria and reimbursement of out of pocket expenses for planners, teachers, and authors. (ACCME Standard 3.7)

7. We prohibit product-promotion material or product-specific advertisements of any type during CME activities. Presenters avoid juxtaposing editorial and advertising material on the same products or subjects. Keep all live (staffed exhibits, presentation) or enduring (printed or electronic advertisements) promotional activities separate from CME. (ACCME Standard 4.2)

8. We do not use a commercial interest to provide a CME activity to learners, e.g., distribution of self-study CME activities or arranging for electronic access to CME activities. (ACCME Standard 4.5)

9. The content of format of a CME activity or its related materials must promote improvements or quality in health care and not a specific proprietary business interest of a commercial interest. (ACCME Standard 5.1)

10. Attendees in the audience are not compensated or otherwise materially rewarded for attendance, including payment of travel expenses, lodging, honoraria, or personal expenses. (ACCME Standard 3.12)

11. In addition to the standards above, funds contributed to the Medical School to pay for a specific educational activity should be provided to a department, program, or section and not to individual faculty.

C. Off the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Campus—Clinical and scientific meetings sponsored by professional societies often derive a portion of their support from industry. Such support may result in inappropriate influence by industry on the content of the meeting or on its attendees. Industry sponsorship usually adopts one of two possible forms, with different standards applying to each:                

1. Partial sponsorship of a meeting otherwise run by a professional society—We encourage Icahn School of Medicine medical students to participate in the meetings of professional societies for educational purposes, and as an opportunity to showcase their own research. You should be aware, however, of the potential conflicts of interest at work in such meetings, and should be scrupulous in determining whether and how to attend and participate.

2. Full sponsorship of a meeting run by industry (including commercial education services)—We encourage you to pay particular attention to the content and organization of such meetings and lectures.

3. We encourage our students to assess the following points when determining the academic value of any conference, lecture, or meeting:

a) Is financial support by industry fully disclosed at the meeting by the sponsor, and what is the extent of that support?

b) Is the meeting or lecture content, including slides and written materials, determined by the speaker(s) alone?

c) Does each speaker provide a balanced assessment of therapeutic options, and promote objective scientific and educational activities and discourse?

d) Are attendees in the audience being compensated or otherwise materially rewarded for attendance through payment of travel expenses or the provision of food or gifts?

e) Are gifts of any type being distributed to attendees before, during, or after the meeting or lecture?

f) Has each lecturer explicitly described any conflicts of interest, and have they resolved these conflicts?

Disclosure of Relationships with Industry

All Icahn School of Medicine faculty and lecturers must fully disclose any relevant past, present, or future relationships with industry at the beginning of each lecture to students.

Faculty with supervisory responsibilities for students should take great care to ensure that the faculty member’s actual or potential conflicts of interest do not affect or appear to affect the supervision and education of the student.

Training of Students Regarding Conflicts of Interest

All students will receive training regarding actual and potential conflicts of interest in interactions with industry at all levels of education and professional practice.

Site Access by Sales and Marketing Representatives

A. Sales and marketing representatives are not allowed anywhere that education or clinical care are delivered on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai campus unless they are providing an in-service training on devices and other equipment, and then only by appointment. This includes commercial educations services such as publishers and board review programs.

B. Appointments may be made on a per-visit basis at the discretion of a faculty member, their division or department, or designated medical school personnel issuing the invitation and with the approval of medical school administration.

C. Sales and marketing representatives will receive a copy of these guidelines before their presentation, and will sign a statement to the effect that they have received and understand these guidelines. The representatives will then receive a badge clearly identifying themselves.

D. Marketing tools and other “reminder” materials will be removed entirely from any space used by sales and marketing representatives after their appointment on campus.

E. Industry representatives will not approach medical students unsolicited at any point during their stay on the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai campus.

Due to patient confidentiality concerns, while on campus and off, medical students are not permitted to answer questions related to their patients or patient care, or facilitate access to any portion of medical records.

Harassment has become an increasingly prominent national concern in the workplace and in academic institutions. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai regards any behavior that is harassing, discriminatory, or abusive as a violation of the standards of conduct required of all persons associated with the academic mission of the institution. The ideal of American medical, graduate and postgraduate education is to create an environment that nurtures respect and collegiality between educator and student. In the teacher-student relationship, each party has certain legitimate expectations of the other. For example, the learner can expect that the teacher will provide instruction, guidance, inspiration, and leadership in learning. The teacher anticipates that learners will invest energy and intellect to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to become an effective physician or scientist. The social relationships required in the achievement of this academic ideal—mentor, peer, professional, and staff—require the active trust of partnership, not the dependence of authoritarian dominance and submission.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is responsible for providing a work and academic environment free of sexual and other forms of harassment. We may pursue any complaint of harassment to achieve this goal. A Grievance Committee (the “Committee”) was established in 1992 to serve as an educational resource to the Medical School community on issues relevant to harassment and to address complaints of sexual harassment and other forms of harassment and abuse as defined below. This committee will not address complaints about implementation of school policies concerning appointment, promotion, and distribution of resources, including notification requirements associated with these policies unless they involve, in addition to those complaints, an allegation of harassment or abuse as defined below. The Committee (and an appointed Investigative and Hearing Board (the “Board”) under Paragraph IV.C.2. below, if any) may only consider complaints of harassment and abuse brought by any faculty member, medical or graduate student, house staff or postdoctoral fellow against any other such member of the School community. Existing grievance mechanisms will handle any complaints by and against other employees of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai (e.g., those available through Human Resources). The Committee may act (at its discretion) before or after other action(s) an individual may take to exercise his/her rights both within and outside the Institution.

The Committee will attempt, whenever possible, to emphasize mediation and conciliation. It will rely on discreet inquiry and trust in dealing with complaints that are brought for its consideration. It will maintain confidentiality to the maximum extent possible consistent with the need to investigate complaints and with the requirements of the law. All members of the community are required to cooperate fully with the Committee and an appointed Board, if any.

To ensure an environment in which education, work, research, and discussion are not corrupted by abuse, discrimination and harassment, we have developed the following statement to educate members of the academic community about what constitutes harassment and about the mechanism for the receipt, consideration, and resolution of complaints.

Definition of Unacceptable Behavior

Certain behaviors are inherently destructive to the relationships that are required in a community organized to provide medical and graduate education. Behaviors such as violence, sexual and other harassment, abuses of power and discrimination (age, race, color, language, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic disposition, ethnicity, culture, creed, national origin, citizenship physical or mental disability, socioeconomic status, veteran status, military status, marital status, being the victim of spousal abuse, or based on any other characteristic protected by law) will not be tolerated.

Sexual Harassment

We define sexual harassment as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and/or other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when:

  • Submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of an individual’s employment or academic success.
  • Submission to or rejection of such conduct by an individual is used as a basis for employment or academic decisions affecting such an individual.
  • Such conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s work or academic performance or creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive work or academic environment. Sexual harassment is a violation of institutional policy and of city, state and federal laws. Sexual harassment need not be intentional to violate this policy.

Examples of sexual harassment include, but are not limited to:

  • Sexual misconduct
  • Inappropriate sexual advances, propositions, or demands
  • Unwelcome physical contact
  • Inappropriate persistent public statements or displays of sexually explicit or offensive material which is not legitimately related to employment duties, course content, or research
  • Threats or insinuations, which lead the victim to believe that acceptance or refusal of sexual favors, will affect his/her reputation, education, employment or advancement
  • Derogatory comments relating to sex, gender, and gender identity and expression or sexual orientation

In general, though not always, sexual harassment occurs when the harasser has some form of power or authority over the life of the harassed. As such, sexual harassment does not fall within the range of personal private relationships. Although a variety of consensual sexual relationships are possible between medical supervisors and trainees, such relationships raise ethical concerns because of inherent inequalities in the status and power that supervisors wield in relation to trainees. Despite the consensual nature of the relationship, the potential for sexual exploitation exists. Even if no professional relationship currently exists between a supervisor and a trainee, entering into such a relationship could become problematic in light of the future possibility that the supervisor may unexpectedly assume a position of responsibility for the trainee.

Discrimination

We define discrimination as actions on the part of an individual, group, or institution that treats another individual or group differently because of race, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, religion, veteran status, age, disability, citizenship, marital status, genetic predisposition, or any other characteristic protected by law. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of these characteristics violates federal, state, and city laws and is prohibited and covered by this policy.

Abuse

For the purposes of this policy, we define abuse as behavior that is viewed by society and by the academic community as exploitative or punishing without appropriate cause. It is particularly objectionable when it involves the abuse of authority.

Examples of behavior that may be abusive include, but are not limited to:

  • Habitual conduct or speech that creates an intimidating, demeaning, degrading, hostile, or otherwise seriously offensive working or educational environment
  • Physical punishment
  • Repeated episodes of verbal punishment (e.g., public humiliation, threats, and/or intimidation)
  • Removal of privileges without appropriate cause
  • Grading or evaluations used to punish rather than to evaluate objective performance
  • Assigning tasks solely for punishment rather than educational purposes
  • Repeated demands to perform personal services outside job description
  • Intentional neglect or intentional lack of communication
  • Requirements of individuals to perform unpleasant tasks that are entirely irrelevant to their education and employment and which others are not also asked to perform

Constructive criticism, as part of the learning process, does not constitute harassment. To be most effective, negative feedback should be delivered in a private setting that fosters free discussion and behavioral change.

Grievance Committee

The Committee addresses any complaint of harassment or abuse brought by any member of the faculty, medical or graduate student, house staff officer, or postdoctoral research fellow against any other member of the school community.

Composition of the Committee

The Committee consists of at least 22 members. Among these are two with counseling experience, two medical students, two graduate students, two house staff, two faculty with administrative appointments, and two research postdoctoral fellows. Faculty members of the Committee will represent basic science and clinical, junior, and senior faculty. We make every effort to have the Committee reflect the full diversity of the medical school population. The Chairperson of the Committee (the “Chairperson”) is a faculty member with experience in counseling who does not have an administrative appointment. The dean appoints all members of the Committee, including the Chairperson, after consultation with relevant groups in the School. Faculty serve staggered three-year renewable terms; students, postdoctoral fellows and house officers serve renewable one-year terms.

Grievance Procedures

Any member of the faculty, any medical or graduate student, house officer or postdoctoral research fellow who believes that he or she has been harassed or abused by any other member of the School community may contact any member of the Committee or the Chairperson to seek advice, or may submit a written complaint to the Committee. If you have a complaint, you can discuss it with the Committee member that you contacted, who can advise you of your options in pursuing the complaint, including, if you agree, (and where permitted by law), helping you to resolve the complaint informally without revealing your name. Such help may include but is not limited to assisting you in drafting a letter to the alleged offender asking that he/she stops the behavior, or coaching you in preparation for a conversation with the alleged offender. You may ask the Committee member to meet directly with the person accused to seek a resolution. If the complaint includes an alleged violation of law, the Committee member initially contacted must bring the complaint to the full Committee, the complaint must be fully documented and investigated, and a report made to the Dean.

Upon request of the complainant to the Committee member originally contacted, or upon receipt of written complaints to the Committee, or when required by law, the complaint, with your name, respondent and department withheld, will be discussed by the Committee at its next regular meeting.

Following discussion of the complaint, the Committee has two options:

1.)  It can decide that even if the allegation is true, it does not constitute harassment or abuse. You will be notified of the finding and can be offered guidance and/or assistance in resolving the matter, or be referred to another, more appropriate venue, such as Human Resources, the Faculty Relations Committee or a Tenure Review Committee to pursue the complaint.

2.)  It can decide that the allegation is sufficiently serious to warrant further investigation. Unless previously submitted, we will ask you to submit a full written account of the complaint. Upon receipt of the written complaint, the Chairperson will appoint a five-member Board and two alternates to determine appropriate steps.

The Chairperson will serve as chair of the Board (or, in case of conflict of interest or other inability to serve, appoint another Committee member) and will appoint at least four additional individuals and at least two alternates to consider the complaint. Students, postdoctoral fellows, and house staff members are to be excluded from the Board in cases involving a faculty member alleging harassment by another faculty member. In cases involving a student, postdoctoral fellow, or house staff (either as an accuser or accused), at least one of the members of the Board will be from the same group. Each Board will have at least one member with experience in counseling, and at least three faculty members.

Upon selection of the Board, we will notify you of the names of Board members, and you will have 48 hours from receipt of such notification to challenge, in writing, any member for cause. The respondent will be notified that a complaint has been brought against him/her, the name of the complainant, the nature of the complaint and the names of the members of the Board. The respondent shall also have 48 hours from receipt of notification to challenge, in writing, any member of the Board for cause. In the event of a challenge, the Chairperson will decide on the merits and replace Board members if necessary. In the event that the Chairperson is unable to appoint a sufficient number of members not disqualified for cause, the Dean will appoint additional members.

Investigative and Hearing Board Procedures

The preliminary stages of the investigation may consist of meetings of one or more members of the Board with the complainant, respondent and other members of the community who might have relevant information. Once we have held the preliminary meetings, we will share all information obtained in these meetings with the entire Board. In all meetings, we emphasize confidentiality.

You will receive the full written complaint with the supporting documentation you provide to the Board. You will have two weeks to provide a written response, which we will distribute to the Board and the complainant.

The Board will then hold one or more hearings, which you and respondent will attend, either individually or together, along with any other witnesses the Board deems relevant to the complaint. At the hearing, each of the parties may be accompanied by an advisor, who is a member of the Mount Sinai community, but who is not a lawyer, and who will not function as an advocate during the hearing.

At the close of the hearing(s), the Board will deliberate the findings without the presence of either you or the respondent.

Upon concluding its deliberations, the Board will vote on whether there has been a violation of this policy based on a majority vote. The Board will discuss recommendations for remedial actions and will draft a full report, including the findings, vote and recommendations of the majority. The Board will submit this report to the Dean.

The Board's written report will include:

1.             A determination that a violation of this policy did or did not take place

2.             A listing of its findings of fact

3.             A summary of the written submissions of all parties

4.             A summary of testimony at the hearing

5.             A summary of evidence gathered during the investigation

6.             The conclusions it has drawn from this material

7.             Recommendations for action to be taken by the Dean

8.             Recommended sanctions based on the severity of the offense. Sanctions may include, but are not limited to, verbal reprimand, written reprimand, change in job responsibilities, suspension, discharge, and expulsion.

The Board and/or the Committee may, at its discretion, modify the Grievance Procedures depending on the nature of a particular complaint.

Dean's Review

The Dean may accept or reject conclusions and/or recommendations of the Board. However, in the event the Dean does not accept either the Board’s conclusions or its recommendations, he/she will meet with the Board to discuss the reasons for the rejection before recording a final decision on the matter.

The Dean will convey his/her decision in writing to the complainant, respondent and the Board.

Protection from Retaliation

All individuals involved in registering a complaint, serving as representatives for the complainant or respondent, as witnesses, or on the Committee will be free from any and all retaliation or reprisal or threats thereof. This principle applies with equal force after a complaint has been adjudicated. Upon submission of a complaint or threat of retaliation, the Committee will review the facts and recommend appropriate action.

Reevaluation of procedures

The Committee will review the grievance procedures periodically. Proposed changes, approved by a majority of the Committee, must be reviewed and approved by the Office of the General Counsel before being implemented.

Grievance Committee Members 2018

Name

Department

Telephone

Email Address

Mark Bailey

Medical Student

310-221-2887

Mark.Bailey@mssm.edu

Sharon Diamond, MD

OB/GYN

914-844-1739/ 212-876-2200

Sharon.Diamond@mountsinai.org

Shane Dickerson, MD

Anesthesiology

-

Shane.Dickerson@mountsinai.org

Tamiesha Frempong, MD MPH

Ophthalmology

203-645-9355

Tamiesha.Frempong@mssm.edu/

Miesha.Frempong@gmail.com

Stephen Goldstone, MD

Surgery

212-427-2327

Goldstone.Stephen@gmail.com

Thomas Hays, MD PhD

Pediatrics

-

Thomas.Hays@mssm.edu

Marlene Marko, MD

Psychiatry

212-722-0799

Mmarkomd@aol.com

Raymond Matta, MD

Cardiology

212-410-5880

Rmatta1215@aol.com

Gail Meisel, MD (Chair)

Psychiatry

212-722-5800

-

Ryan Rhome, MD

Radiation Oncology

212-241-7500

Ryan.Rhome@mountsinai.org

Kevin M. Troy, MD

Hematology-Oncology

212-824-8858

Kevin.Troy@mssm.edu

Alison Welch, MD

Psychiatry

212-659-8820

Alison.Welch@mountsinai.org

Robert Zimbroff

Medical Student

-

Robert.Zimbroff@icahn.mssm.edu

Caryn Tiger-Paillex

Human Resources

212-241-4097

Caryn.Tiger-Paillex@mssm.edu

Marina Lowy

Counsel

212-659-8105

Marina.Lowy@mountsinai.org

Rebecca L. Berkebile

Counsel

212-659-8105

Rebecca.Berkebile@mountsinai.org

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai holds all students to The Mount Sinai Health System’s Infection Control Policies and Procedures. During orientation, we introduce students to these policies and procedures. Each degree program coordinates further training.

Students who experience needle stick accidents and accidental blood/body fluid in the School of Medicine will be supported. An exposure may be a percutaneous injury, such as a needle stick, cut with a sharp object or bite, contact of mucous membranes, contact of tissue, contact of skin when the exposed skin is chapped, abraded, or afflicted with dermatitis, or the contact is prolonged or involving an extensive area with blood or tissue or body fluids. We expect students to follow the published protocols immediately for several reasons: anti-retroviral therapy for HIV exposure, if recommended, should commence immediately; exposure to hepatitis B or C may require therapy or further follow-up. In general, care, evaluation, and expert advice must be available to students regarding relative risks, options for therapy, and follow-up. We coordinate with affiliate sites so that students have a clear idea of the protocol to follow and receive state-of-the-art care when appropriate. Students must attend annual seminars conducted by infection control experts and documentation of attendance becomes a permanent part of the student's file. Students must follow protocol after a needle stick or other blood/body fluid exposure.

All policies for Infection Control at the affiliates maintain standards that are reviewed regularly by the infection control experts at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Division of Infectious Diseases of the Department of Medicine.

The Icahn School of Medicine recognizes that confidentiality is a basic right and privilege. We believe that the issue of confidentiality is part of the trust that we expect and value among students, teachers, and administrative personnel. The following clarifies the protection of your personal information:

Health Information

A. All student health information is protected information. There should be no sharing of information except as provided by HIPAA for your care as a patient. Teachers, administrative personnel, and deans may not receive health information from your health care providers except as provided by HIPAA.

B. There is certain information that hospitals and health care facilities require as a condition of employment. This information includes PPD, immunizations, and in some cases, evidence of toxicology results. We will inform you that Student Health information is being shared as composite data (we only know who does not comply with completing this information and then would deny clinical privileges but do not know the exact results).

C. Toxicology screening is an institutional requirement. Senior administrative representatives of the Deans (Graduate School and Medical Education) will review any positive result. We may require a toxicology screen from any student at any time without need for a stated reason. If you fail to comply with toxicology testing in the timeframe required, you will be dismissed from school.

D. The Administration may ask you to comply with an administrative psychiatric evaluation. If and when we decide that such an evaluation is necessary, we will inform you and let you know the list of questions that we will send to an administrative evaluator (usually a psychiatrist). You do not have the option to decline such an evaluation when required and if you fail to comply, we will dismiss you from school. We will discuss the findings of the administrative evaluator and this information will remain in your file. The file can only be opened by a dean, a den’s official representative, or if requested as a legal document. 

Academic Information

The School Registrar maintains academic information. The following rules apply:

A. You have access to your academic file for review but we will not give you a copy of the file.

B. The Registrar will not permit dissemination of the file information without your signed consent of a student unless required by law in accordance with FERPA Policy.

C. If you wish to review your file, you may do so in the presence of the Registrar or Dean’s designee, coordinated through the Registrar.

D. If you seek counsel from a director, dean, teacher, or ombudsman, that information should remain confidential between you and the counselor.

E. Access to your academic information is determined by FERPA. Only school officials with a “legitimate educational interest” have access to all or parts of your academic record.

F. Course directors, Instructors, and clerkship directors do not have access to your student file. Only school officials, including, but not limited to deans, Student Affairs personnel in the School of Medicine may access the file. 

G. School officials are defined as individuals who require access to a student’s education record to fulfill their professional responsibility.

H. The Empower SIS is a web-based system, in which only individuals who have been identified as having a legitimate educational interest, have access to view your academic information.

I. The Registrar’s Office provisions school officials within the Empower SIS to limit access, based on their respective roles.

J. Any plan to discuss information (e.g., Office of Student Affairs Representative or Program Director with one of the Dean’s) should be with your knowledge and consent.

K. Exceptions to this confidentiality include concerns about the safety of you, someone related to you, or your dependent. Safety concerns include suicidal ideation, homicidal ideation, harming another individual, substance dependency, or behavioral or health concerns that may affect you or others.

Social media are internet-based applications that support and promote the exchange of user-developed content. Some current examples include Facebook, Wikipedia, and YouTube. Posting personal images, experiences and information on these kinds of public sites poses a set of unique challenges for all members of the Mount Sinai community, including employees, faculty, house staff, fellows, volunteers, and students (collectively “Personnel”). All personnel have responsibility to avoid posting anything that may reflect poorly on Mount Sinai. Mount Sinai is committed to supporting your right to interact knowledgeably and socially; however these electronic interactions have a potential impact on patients, colleagues, Mount Sinai, and future employers’ opinions of you. The principal aim of this guideline is to identify your responsibilities to Mount Sinai in relation to social media and to help you represent yourself and Mount Sinai in a responsible and professional manner.

Guideline

This guideline outlines appropriate standards of conduct related to all electronic information (text, image, or auditory) that is created or posted externally on social media sites by personnel affiliated with Mount Sinai. Examples include, but are not limited to: text messages; media messaging service (MMS); Twitter®, Facebook®, Linked-In®, YouTube®, and all other social networks; personal and organizational websites; blogs; wikis; and similar entities. This guideline applies to future media with similar implications. It also applies whether you are posting to: Mount Sinai-hosted sites; social media in which your affiliation is known, identified, or presumed; or a self-hosted site, where the views and opinions expressed are not intended to represent the official views of Mount Sinai.

Reference to Other Policies

All existing policies of the Mount Sinai Health System apply to personnel in connection with their social media activities. A list of relevant policies is included at the end of this guideline.

Best Practices

Everyone who participates in social media activities should understand and follow these simple but important best practices:

Take Responsibility and Use Good Judgment. You are responsible for the material you post on personal blogs or other social media. Be courteous, respectful, and thoughtful about how other personnel may perceive or be affected by postings. Incomplete, inaccurate, inappropriate, threatening, harassing or poorly worded postings may be harmful to others. They may damage relationships, undermine Mount Sinai’s brand or reputation, discourage teamwork, and hurt the institution’s commitment to patient care, education, research, and community service.

Think Before You Post. Anything you post is highly likely to be permanently connected to you and your reputation through Internet and email archives. Future employers often have access to this information and may use it to evaluate you. Take great care and be thoughtful before placing identifiable comments in the public domain.

Protect Patient Privacy. Disclosing information about patients without written permission, including photographs or potentially identifiable information, is strictly prohibited. These rules also apply to deceased patients and to posts in the secure section of your Facebook page that is accessible by approved friends only.

Protect Your Own Privacy. Make sure you understand how the privacy policies and security features work on the sites where you are posting material.

Respect Work Commitments. Ensure that your blogging, social networking, and other external media activities do not interfere with your work commitments.

Identify Yourself. If you communicate through social media about Mount Sinai, disclose your connection with Mount Sinai and your role at the Health System. Use good judgment and strive for accuracy in your communications. False and unsubstantiated claims, and inaccurate or inflammatory postings may create liability for you.

Use a Disclaimer. Where your connection to Mount Sinai is apparent, make it clear that you are speaking for yourself and not on behalf of Mount Sinai. A disclaimer, such as, "The views expressed on this [blog; website] are my own and do not reflect the views of my employer," may be appropriate.

Respect Copyright and Fair Use Laws. For Mount Sinai’s protection as well as your own, it is critical that you show proper respect for the laws governing copyright and fair use of copyrighted material owned by others, including Mount Sinai’s own copyrights and brands.

Protect Proprietary Information. Do not share confidential or proprietary information that may compromise Mount Sinai’s business practices or security. Similarly, do not share information in violation of any laws or regulations.

Seek Expert Guidance. Consult with the Marketing and Communications Department if you have any questions about the appropriateness of materials you plan to publish or if you require clarification on whether specific information has been publicly disclosed before you disclose it publicly. Social media may generate interest from the press. If you are contacted by a member of the media about a Mount Sinai-related blog posting or Health System information of any kind, contact the Press Office, a division of the Marketing & Communications Department, at 212-241-9200 or newsmedia@mssm.edu

Failure to abide by Mount Sinai policies may lead to disciplinary action, up to and including termination or expulsion.

Application Policies

These policies include, but are not limited to: use or disclosure of Protected Health Information (PHI) or confidential Mount Sinai materials; computer use policy; Use of Mount Sinai’s trademarks and proprietary information; electronic communications; confidentiality of the medical record; camera and video recorder use; portable electronic devices; Human Resources policies 13.5 (electronic mail/email) and 13.6 (internet use); and all professionalism policies and codes of conduct. Policies not listed above that are in the Human Resources Manual, the Faculty Handbook, the House Staff Manual, the Student Handbook and the Bylaws of the Hospital Staff also apply.

The following are fictional use-case examples of social media and blogging activities and an explanation of their appropriateness as per the Mount Sinai Health System Social Media Guideline:

  1. A patient attempts to “friend” an attending physician on Facebook. This is almost always inappropriate, unless the doctor-patient relationship has ended. Even after the doctor-patient relationship has ended, it would be inappropriate to discuss health-related information. (Best Practice 3)
  2. A patient comments on a Mount Sinai physician’s blog and discloses protected health information with the expectation that the Mount Sinai physician will continue the discussion. Any health-related discussions by email with patients require a written consent. Similarly, social media discussion with a patient should not directly address health concerns of individual patients. (Best Practice 3)
  3. A medical student “tweets” that he just finished rounds with the residents on a patient and describes the clinical findings of that patient. It is difficult to be certain that information disclosed in the Twitter® post is not identifiable to that particular patient. The best type of posting would include very general information. Other posts by the same student could indicate his/her medical school and current rotation, leading to circumstances that indirectly identify the patient, such as by naming a very rare disease. (Best Practice 3)
  4. A medical student writes in her blog, naming an attending physician who did minimal teaching on rounds and recommending that other students not take clinical electives with that physician. Legitimate critique of an educational activity is appropriate, so long as professionalism is maintained. There are more effective and less public mechanisms for relaying this type of information, and the student may be counseled accordingly. (Best Practices 1, 2)
  5. A graduate student posts to his “wall” on Facebook that half of the class was sleeping during Dr. X’s lecture on biostatistics. This is very similar to the use case above. (Best Practices 1, 2)
  6. A pediatric resident posts (on her Facebook wall) a picture of a baby who was just discharged from her service, expressing joy, best wishes to the family, and congratulating everyone involved in this excellent patient outcome. Without written patient/representative consent, this is a clear violation of patient confidentiality, even if the patient is not named. (Best Practice 3)
  7. A laboratory technician blogs that the laboratory equipment he is using should have been replaced years ago and is unreliable. The public disclosure of such information increases the liability for the Health System and is clearly unprofessional. There are legitimate and confidential mechanisms for improving quality at the Health System. (Best Practices 1, 2)
  8. A graduate student wearing a Mount Sinai t-shirt is tagged in a photo taken at a local bar and posted on a friend’s Facebook page. The graduate student is clearly inebriated. The two issues are that: (1) the Mount Sinai logo identifies the affiliation to the institution; and (2) the unprofessional behavior of the student is available for all to see, including future employers and potential patients of Mount Sinai. The graduate student did not post the photo, but should do everything possible to have the photo removed and remove the tagging link to the student’s own Facebook page. (Best Practices 2, 4)
  9. A postdoctoral fellow blogs that her laboratory technician wears too much cologne, has terrible taste in clothes, and takes overly long lunch breaks. This is an inappropriate forum and set of comments and demonstrates unprofessional behavior by the post-doctoral fellow. There are legitimate and confidential mechanisms for addressing valid concerns in the workplace. (Best Practices 1, 2)
  10. An oncology nurse practitioner uses an alias and blogs that Mount Sinai has the lowest bone marrow transplantation complication rate in the world. This may be a violation of Federal Trade Commission regulations that prohibit false or unsubstantiated claims, and does not disclose the employee’s material relationship to Mount Sinai. (Best Practice 6)
  11. An applicant to the School of Medicine receives access to an Icahn School of Medicine blog to comment on the experience. The applicant writes that another medical school in NYC is obviously more prestigious and has better housing. Mount Sinai has no recourse against non-affiliated individuals. The administrator of the blog should have established policies and procedures for editorial procedures. If the blog posting meets these editorial guidelines, then the blog posting should remain. It is likely that others will debate the original comment and place Icahn School of Medicine’s reputation and housing status in context.
  12. A medical student creates a social media website to discuss medical knowledge (e.g., "Cardiology Interest Group" on Facebook). This is a learning community environment for exchanging, sharing, and discussiong medical knowledge. While the goal is laudable, there are still risks. A disclaimer is necessary, since postings may be incorrect, taken out of context, or improperly referenced. The moderator should take precautions to prevent the posting of information potentially identifiable to a particular patient. (Best Practices 1, 3, 6, 7)

Medical School Addendum to the Social Media Policy

As stated in the Institutional policy, posting personal images, experiences and information on public websites poses a variety of challenges for all members of the Mount Sinai community. We have developed additional guidelines below to assist the navigation online relationships, sharing of information, and the difficulties that may come with an online presence.

Student, Faculty, and Staff Interaction: Students, faculty, and staff should be respectful when requesting or contacting each other on social media. It is important to consider that the person being contacted may have professional/personal boundaries and may not consider relationships on social media to be appropriate.

Posting on Social Media: When posting on social media or viewing/sharing/liking on these platforms, keep in mind that anyone may be able to view these materials (including those you are friends with and potential future employers). Refer to the Institutional Policy above for more information.

Interaction on Social Media: By connecting on social media, you acknowledge that you are engaging with each other outside the professional boundaries of the educational environment. It is important to consider that individuals have differing viewpoints, and you should engage in respectful and professional conversations.

Contacting Patients or Their Family Members: Students, faculty, and staff should never contact patients or their family members on social media. For more case scenarios about patient interaction on social media and HIPAA guidelines, please see the Institutional Policy above.

RELEVANT LCME STANDARDS:

11.1 Academic Advising

PURPOSE AND SCOPE:

To ensure that medical students can obtain academic counseling from individuals who have no role in making assessment or promotion decisions about them.

POLICY:

Members of the medical school administration are:

  1. Allowed to teach and evaluate students in the context of large group sessions such as lectures or large group discussions that involve the entire class
  2. Allowed to teach and evaluate students in electives/selective experiences
  3. Allowed to teach and evaluate students in small group sessions or activities only after students have had the chance to opt out of a small group that has as its preceptor a member of the medical school administration.

Members of the School of Medicine administration include, but are not limited to, the Dean for Medical Education, the Senior Associate Dean for Admissions, the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Curricular Affairs, the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Student Affairs, the Associate Dean for Medical Student Wellness and Student Affairs, the Assistant Dean of Curricular and Student Affairs, the Faculty Advisors, the Director of Student Affairs, Chair of the Promotions Committee.

PROCEDURE:

Students are informed of the faculty member’s participation by the Office of Curriculum Support or the Clerkship Coordinator in advance of the course/clerkship and are given the opportunity to “opt out” of that faculty member’s small group.

Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment Policy

RELEVANT LCME STANDARDS:

12.5    Non-Involvement of Providers of Student Health Services in Student Assessment/Location of Student Health Records

PURPOSE AND SCOPE: To ensure that a provider of health and/or psychiatric/psychological services to a medical student has no current or future involvement in the academic assessment of, or in decisions about, the promotion of that student.   This policy applies to all medical students, faculty, residents, fellows and other clinical staff who provide clinical care to medical students and who also are involved with teaching or assessing medical students.

POLICY: A provider of health and/or psychiatric/psychological services to a medical student can have no current or future involvement in the academic assessment of, or in decisions about, the promotion of that student.

Educators who are involved in student assessment and evaluation are required to certify that they have not provided healthcare to the students they are evaluating.

Additionally, faculty members who serve on a Promotions Committee must certify that they have not, and will not, provide healthcare to the students who will be reviewed by the committee.

Providers in Student Health and Student/Trainee Mental Health

The Director and providers of Student Health and the Director and physicians of Student/Trainee Mental Health Services are:

  1. Allowed to teach students in the context of large group sessions such as lectures or large group discussions that involve the entire class
  2. Allowed to teach students in electives/selective experiences
  3. Not allowed to supervise students during any clinical rotations
  4. Not allowed to teach students in any small group sessions or activities
  5. Not allowed to participate in the assessment or evaluation of student performance
  6. Not allowed to serve on the Promotions Committee

All other faculty

A student assigned to a course, clerkship, elective or other educational activity with a treating healthcare provider may request and will be granted an alternative assignment.

PROCEDURE:

Year 1 and 2 Course Small Group Preceptors

In advance of each course in year 1 and year 2, the Office of Curriculum Support (OCS) notifies students of the roster of faculty who may assess students in a small group in year 1 and 2 and who may also have a clinical role. Students have the opportunity to opt out of that faculty member’s small group if they have a potential conflict of interest in being in that faculty member’s small group. A conflict is defined as when a faculty member that is evaluating a student has a close relationship to the student, such as being a family member or having served as a current/prior physician.

Year 3 and 4 Clinical Rotations

In advance of each module/quarter of clerkships in years 3 and year 4, OCS asks students to identify faculty who may teach in the upcoming clerkships or rotations with whom they may have a conflict of interest, again defined as above. OCS then forwards any potential conflicts to the clerkship directors to make sure that the student is not supervised by these identified individuals.

Conversely all clerkship evaluation forms have an item that asks the evaluator if a potential conflict of interest may exist, again as defined above. If the evaluator checks “yes” then the clerkship director will nullify the evaluation and it will not be included in any assessment or grade.

Promotions Committee Members

Students who are required to appear before the Promotions Committee are given a roster of the members of the committee and are asked to identify any members who may present a conflict of interest. In that event, the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education and Student Affairs will ask the member to recuse themselves.

Emergency Department

The Psychiatric Emergency Room and the Emergency Department have explicit policies

about when medical students are evaluated clinically. The policy stipulates that any resident, fellow, or attending who have teaching or supervising responsibilities for the Student/Trainee in question will not be permitted to evaluate or otherwise provide care to him/her.

Everyone is required to come forward with any information regarding an actual or possible violation of the Code of Conduct or institutional policy, and cooperate fully in the investigation of any alleged violation. 

Reports should be made either in person, by telephone or in writing to any of the following:

  • Your clerkship director
  • Your Site Director
  • The Senior Associate Deans: Dr. Reena Karani and Dr. Peter Gliatto
  • The Medical Student Compliance Hotline 1-800-853-9212 available 24 hours a day, seven days (including holidays) to discuss concerns about possible violations of the law or institutional policy. Callers can remain anonymous and there shall be no reprisals for good faith reporting or possible violations of the Code.

Upon reporting, your concerns will be reviewed and assessed by the appropriate individual(s). If you would like obtain further information regarding the status of your concern(s) please contact the Compliance office directly.

The rules of conduct are as follows:

1. All members of the School community, which for the purposes of these Rules and Regulations shall be defined as including faculty, students, organizations, members of the staff of the School, and all visitors and other licensees and invitees are expected to obey all national, state, and local laws.

2. All members of the School community are prohibited from conduct that is proximate cause of or does unreasonably and unduly impede, obstruct or interfere with the orderly and continuous administration and operation of the School in the use of its facilities and achievement of its purposes as an educational institution, or in its rights as a campus proprietor. Such conduct shall include, but is not limited to, that which is the actual or proximate cause of any of the following:

a. Unreasonable interference with the rights of others

b. Intentional injury to school property

c. Unauthorized occupancy of classrooms, laboratories, libraries, faculty and administrative offices, patient care facilities, auditoriums, public halls and stairways, recreational areas and any other facilities used by the School (unauthorized occupancy being defined as failure to vacate any such facility when duly requested by the Dean, an Associate Dean, Assistant Dean, Hospital Administrator of similar responsibility or chair of a department of the School)

d. Malicious use of or intentional damage to personal property, including records, papers, and writings of any member of the School community

e. Any action or situation that recklessly or intentionally endangers the mental or physical health or involves the forced consumption of liquor or drugs for the purpose of initiation into or affiliation with any organization. The penalties set forth in Part II are in addition to any penalty pursuant to the penal law or any other chapter to which the violator or organization may be subject.

f. Violations of these policies and regulations by students shall be referred to the Dean for Medical Education or Dean of the Graduate School.

g. Nothing contained in any of the foregoing Rules and Regulations is intended to nor shall it be construed to limit or restrict freedom of speech or of peaceful assembly, or other individual rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

h. The administration and faculty of the School are committed to providing a safe and healthy learning environment for all students. You should conduct themselves appropriately everywhere on the campus of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, Mount Sinai Health System, and at affiliated institutions. Appropriate behavior is mandatory when participating in patient care or attending any functions at which patients may be present. In small group seminars, as well as during clinical activities, you will be evaluated not only on your fund of knowledge and ability to use this knowledge but also on your responsibility, dependability, reliability, maturity, motivation, attitude, honesty, integrity, and ability to relate and interact effectively with others.

i. Equally important is the realization that your responsibilities do not end with individual behavior but also include not tolerating inappropriate behavior among others. While formal mechanisms, outlined in other sections, exist to provide due process for any specific allegations of inappropriate behavior, general issues should be able to be discussed freely among peers, faculty, and administration. If you have any concerns requiring confidentiality, you should discuss them with the Dean of Medical Education, Dean of the Graduate School, individual faculty advisors, or through the School’s Ombudsman Program.

The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai is dedicated to providing our students, residents, faculty, staff and patients with an environment of respect, dignity, and support. All members of the Icahn School of Medicine community are responsible for protecting student rights as specified in our Student and Faculty Codes of Conduct, the oaths we take, and our institutional policy. Educators (defined broadly to include anyone in a teaching role, including faculty, residents, fellows, nurses, staff, and students) bear significant responsibility in creating and maintaining this atmosphere. As role models and evaluators, educators must practice appropriate professional behavior toward, and in the presence of, students, who are in a particularly vulnerable position due to the formative nature of their status. This guideline, therefore, supplements the institutional policies on harassment and grievances and sexual misconduct, and will help us develop and maintain optimal learning environments, and encourage educators and students alike to accept their responsibilities as representatives of Icahn School of Medicine in their interactions with their colleagues, patients, and staff.

Description of Mistreatment

Mistreatment interferes with the learning environment, adversely impacts the student-educator relationship, and has the potential for disrupting patient care and research. Mistreatment is defined by the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) as “when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process.” While the perception of mistreatment may differ between individuals, examples of mistreatment of students include being:

  • Publicly embarrassment
  • Publicly humiliation
  • Threatens of physical harm
  • Physical harm
  • Requirements to perform personal services
  • Subjection to sexist remarks
  • Denial of opportunities for training or rewards based on gender
  • Receipt of lower evaluations or grades solely because of gender rather than performance
  • Subjection to unwanted sexual advances
  • Requirements to exchange sexual favors for grades or other rewards
  • Denial of opportunities for training or rewards based on race or ethnicity
  • Subjection to racially or ethnically offensive remarks
  • Receipt of lower evaluations or grades solely because of race or ethnicity rather than performance
  • Denial of opportunities for training or rewards based on sexual orientation
  • Subjection to offensive remarks/names related to sexual orientation
  • Receipt of lower evaluations or grades solely because of sexual orientation rather than performance

Such actions are contrary to the good will, trust, and compassion central to the learning culture and working environment in an academic medical center. The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai does not tolerate these actions. The sources of mistreatment include, but are not limited to research, preclinical, and clinical faculty, fellows, residents, post-docs, nurses, allied health care workers, fellow students, and patients.

Student Mistreatment Resource Panel

The School’s Mistreatment Resource Panel serves as a sounding board for students with concerns about mistreatment. The panel is composed of one representative per class year (MS1, MS2, MS3, and MS4) and a student on Scholarly Year. Student members are elected through annual Student Council nominations. The Medical Student Ombudspersons, the Senior Associate Dean for UME and Curricular Affairs, the Senior Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) and Student Affairs, and the Assistant Director of Student Affairs sit on the resource panel in an advisory role.

The panel members fulfill a variety of functions, including:

  • Serve as a sounding board for students with concerns about mistreatment in the educational environment
  • Assist in educating the Icahn School of Medicine community about mistreatment as outlined in the section entitled “Dissemination”
  • Meet three times per year and review de-identified records
  • Update guidelines and programming based on meeting recommendations
  • Adhere to the expectations of confidentiality in dealing with mistreatment related concerns and agree to serve on the panel for a minimum one-year term
  • Recognize potential conflicts of interest: if a panel member has a potential conflict of interest that relates to a situation brought before the group (for example, a strong personal relationship with someone involved in the situation), the panel member must recuse himself or herself when the group learns about or discusses the situation. Likewise, a student bringing a situation to the panel may request that one of the members not participate if there is a potential conflict of interest. The student should make this request to the person reported to or the Ombudspersons.
  • If the panel or Deans deem it necessary, additional meetings may be scheduled.

Student mistreatment concerns will be handled according to the following process:

  • All Student Mistreatment Resource Panel records will remain confidential and only de-identified data will be presented at review meetings.
  • As a student, you may report a concern either directly to a student member of the panel or to one of the individuals listed in the Reporting section above. The panel will meet to discuss the case. Depending on the complexity of the complaint, the panel may deem it necessary or desirable for you to meet with the group for the panel to ask questions or make suggestions.

Depending upon the severity or complexity of the mistreatment, or at the request of the affected student, the panel may refer the case to an appropriate group or department at the Icahn School of Medicine, including the Title IX Coordinator, Grievance Committee, Clerkship Director, Departmental Chair, or the Deans.

Reporting

Students may report mistreatment or concerns with the learning environment in any of the following ways:

  • Clerkship Director(s): We encourage students in Year 3 or Year 4 to speak with their Clerkship Directors directly. Clerkship Directors will investigate as appropriate and submit a report to the Senior Associate Deans for Undergraduate Medical Education on a biannual basis summarizing cases and outcomes. When possible, we will withhold the student’s identity in such reports to ensure anonymity of students submitting a complaint.
  • Clerkship evaluations: Students evaluate faculty and residents with whom they have worked through end-of-clerkship evaluations. The mechanism to report reminds students that their report is anonymous, asks who the individuals were, type of mistreatment, additional details, and if the student reported this during their rotation. The Senior Associate Deans of Student Affairs and Curricular Affairs review these data quarterly. They aggregate and share the data with each clerkship director. Additionally, the Mistreatment Resource Panel reviews these data at each meeting. Clerkship evaluations are anonymous for the complainant and we aggregate and de-identify the data when we review it.
  • Faculty and Deans: Students can report concerns to any of their instructors, Faculty Advisors, mentors or deans. Each serves as a student advocate and will provide recommendations or refer as appropriate.
  • Mistreatment Resource Panel: Students may report mistreatment directly to this panel by emailing studentmistreatmentpanel@mssm.edu or contacting their class representative directly. The panel will meet to discuss the case with the reporting student’s information de-identified and will communicate next steps as appropriate. For more information about this panel, please see the next section.
  • Ombudspersons: The Medical Student Ombudspersons offer a safe and confidential place to discuss campus related issues and concerns. They serve as student advocates and provide recommendations or refer as appropriate.

Sexual misconduct, including harassment based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity or expression, is unacceptable and is separately addressed under the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Sexual Misconduct Policy. If a student informs someone through one of the above reporting mechanisms about an issue concerning sexual misconduct of any kind, including harassment based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity or expression, that person will encourage the student to speak with the School’s Title IX Coordinator, Sandra Masur, whose contact information is set out in the School’s Sexual Misconduct Policy.

Confidentiality

The student reporting may request his or her report stay confidential, but at any time during the process if the panel becomes concerned about an immediate threat to the safety or well-being of the complainant, alleged aggressor, or any person at Icahn School of Medicine or in the community, the student will be referred to the Title IX Coordinator or the Deans.

We will not disclose, relay, or disseminate information, to the greatest extent possible to other individuals (including informing appropriate ISMMS officials and representatives) beyond what is necessary to comply with ISMMS obligations under applicable laws and ISMMS policies.

Investigation

The Senior Associate Dean for Curricular Affairs and the Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs are responsible for the oversight of mistreatment against students. The Senior Associate Deans monitor trends by departments as well as by person and may open an inquiry into a complaint. The Senior Associate Deans may refer cases to the appropriate Clerkship Director(s) or Departmental Chair(s) to investigate and to decide whether further action is warranted. The reporting department must follow up with process of investigation and outcome within four weeks.

Depending on the nature and/or severity of the issue, the Senior Associate Deans may refer to the Title IX Coordinator or to the Grievance Committee for further investigation. See Sexual Misconduct and Harassment policies for more information.

Dissemination

To promote a learning environment respectful of all individuals, the Icahn School of Medicine publicizes the concern about student mistreatment and this panel’s existence across the institution. Education is a cornerstone in the prevention of student mistreatment. We make ongoing efforts to inform all individuals involved in student education about the appropriate treatment of students and of this guideline. We use the following notification mechanisms:

  • Medical Students: A discussion of mistreatment and our guidelines occurs each year during class orientations, as well as course and clerkship orientations. Each course and clerkship director will include this guideline in their course and clerkship materials.
  • Faculty, Residents and Fellows: The Dean’s office sends this guideline each year to all Course and Clerkship Directors, who help disseminate the guideline to those involved in medical student education. The Senior Associate Deans attend departmental grand rounds through the year to discuss mistreatment policy, concerns, and the existence of this panel.

Protection from Retaliation

We strictly prohibit retaliation against individuals who bring forward complaints of mistreatment (including but not limited to adverse effects on student evaluation). We will not tolerate this behavior.