University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Medical Student Education


Learning Environment

The College of Medicine is committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment that supports and encourages respect for every individual, and promotes the development of professionalism in medical students.

All faculty, staff, medical students and residents on the medical center campus, and across all instructional sites, share responsibility for creating a positive and supportive learning environment. Our goal is to create a culture that enhances patient care, scholarship and research, commitment to the health care needs of society, and the ability of all members of the College of Medicine community to interact and carry out their responsibilities in the best way possible.


As part of their formal training, medical students learn the importance of demonstrating the attributes of a professional and understand the balance of privileges and obligations that the public and the profession expect of a physician. The importance of understanding and possessing the professional attributes expected of physicians is emphasized throughout the Vermont Integrated Curriculum, beginning with Orientation, continuing throughout the Foundations curriculum, and further developed in the third and fourth year clinical experiences. Learn more about medical professionalism.

Statement on Medical Professionalism

We affirm our commitment to creating and maintaining a community that supports and encourages respect for every individual. To that aim, we expect all members of the UVM College of Medicine community to act professionally in the school, hospital and wider community with patients, those close to them, families and colleagues.

Policies and Standards

The policies and standards that outline the College of Medicine expectations of professional conduct include:

The Medical Student Handbook also outlines a Classroom Code of Conduct and General Guidelines for Medical Student Demeanor and Appearance.

Learning Environment and Professionalism Committee

The joint Learning Environment and Professionalism Committee (PDF) includes members from the College and the hospital, charged with reviewing and recommending initiatives and policies to support professional behavior across the academic medical center and at our affiliates. The Committee reports directly to the Dean, and seeks input from the Ombudsperson in identifying issues and opportunities.

Awards and Honors

The College of Medicine, along with the University of Vermont and teaching hospital partner Fletcher Allen Health Care, recognize achievements not only in scholarship but also in the demonstration of professionalism, humanism, compassion and attributes that best exemplify outstanding physicians, teachers and citizens. Learn more about honors and awards.

College of Medicine Ombudsperson

Sally Bliss, MSB, RN, is the College of Medicine Ombudsperson, with a focus on promoting professional culture and behavior and resolving issues before formal action is pursued. The Ombudsperson:

  • Provides a neutral safe and confidential environment to talk.
  • Listens to concerns and complaints, and discussing appropriate options.
  • Mediates conflicts and engage in unbiased diplomacy.
  • Provides information and refers students, residents, and fellows to appropriate resources.

To keep services confidential, there are no records kept. The preferred methods of contact are as follows:

Office Visit: Patrick 226A - Map
Phone: (802) 847-5155
PAS/Pager: (802) 847-2700, pager 2102

The Confidential Reporting System can be accessed by logging in to COMET.

Learn more about the Office of the Ombudsperson.

Student Mistreatment and Reporting

Allegation or observations of mistreatment or unprofessional behavior can be reported:

  • To the College of Medicine Ombudsperson directly or through a confidential online reporting system. The Ombudsperson is available in person, on the phone or online to provide a neutral safe and confidential environment to listen to concerns and discuss appropriate options.
  • To the Associate Dean for Students or any member of the College of Medicine community that a student feels comfortable sharing the information with, including members of the Committee on Wellbeing, the Director of Student Success, their Primary Advisor or their Subspecialty Advisor.

Learn more about mistreatment reporting.

Last modified July 02 2014 03:53 PM