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ROWAN UNIVERSITY POLICY


Title: Non Academic Health Professionals

Subject: Academic Affairs
Policy No: AA:2021:01 
Issuing Authority: Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, Dean, RowanSOM
Responsible Officer: Dr. Thomas Cavalieri, Dean, RowanSOM
Adopted: 09/25/2019 
Last Revision: 08/24/2021
Last Reviewed: 08/24/2021


I.     PURPOSE

RowanSOM must ensure that any health professional providing health services, through a physician-patient relationship, must recuse him/herself from the academic assessment or promotion of the student receiving those services.

II.   ACCOUNTABILITY

Under the direction of the Dean, the Associate Dean for Curriculum and the Assistant Dean for Clinical Education shall ensure compliance with and implement this policy.

III.  APPLICABILITY

RowanSOM Students

VI. POLICY

As a medical school with a large clinical practice, we realize we may be more vulnerable to grading conflicts of interest between students and their treating physicians. However, we embrace the significant responsibility and burden to ensure all student assessments are free from potential conflicts of interest. Therefore, we have taken the following steps to ensure awareness of and strict adherence to RowanSOM’s faculty recusal policy in the Faculty Handbook (see Table of Contents) and Student Handbook SOM Students (see Table of Contents)

  1. Dissemination of policy
    This policy has been emailed to both paid and volunteer faculty listservs and to the students’ class email lists multiple times.

  2. Inclusion of the policy in all Course and Clerkship Syllabi
    Each course and clerkship director has incorporated the faculty recusal policy into the syllabus and clerkship directors discuss this with students at their orientation.
  3. Student attestation about policy
    Students are presented with this information during the first year registration and asked to sign the attached form attesting to this. It is presented again during the Clinical Skills orientation before entering third-year students begin clinical rotations. 
  4. Attestation process for Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)/Practical exams
    Faculty and students both must sign an attestation before starting any OSCEs, Standardized Patient encounter or clinical practical exam that they do not have a patient-doctor relationship with the faculty member assigned as their evaluator.
  5. Attestation process for clerkship grading
    We have also added the following attestation statement to the Clinical Evaluation grading form that faculty submit on behalf of students after each rotation.
    By completing this evaluation, I attest to the best of my knowledge, that I (or any other contributors on this evaluation) have not provided medical care to this student as a patient, nor recall having a patient-physician relationship with this student.
    If you have had a patient-physician relationship with this student, please close this Evaluation and reply directly back to the email notification you received for this evaluation, stating that you cannot complete an evaluation of this student.

Summary

We believe this comprehensive approach toward educating students and faculty about the policy provides full protection of the students and faculty from conflict of interest. This process has allowed all faculty and students to become aware of the existence of a conflict of interest in grading.  Ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of this policy and process will be done to ensure adherence.

V.   ATTACHMENTS

  1. Attachment 1 - Health Care Providers’ Recusal from Student Assessment
  2. Attachment 2 - Attestation Process for Students & Faculty during SP Encounters
  3. Attachment 3 - Clerkship Student Assignments


ATTACHMENT I
HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS' RECUSAL FROM STUDENT ASSESSMENT


RowanSOM students may seek care from the health professionals of their choosing. However, to ensure there is no conflict of interest between a student and their treating physician/health care professional, faculty members should not supervise or evaluate the academic performance of any student for whom they have provided health care, including psychiatric/psychological care.

If a faculty member discovers that they are assigned to an evaluative role of a student for whom they have provided health care, they must recuse themselves and confidentially notify the course/clerkship director immediately to reassign appropriate evaluators.

Students must also confidentially notify the course or clerkship director or Academic Affairs if they are paired with a health care professional who is or has treated them medically or psychiatrically; they will be reassigned to another faculty member.

Preceptors/module directors/clerkship directors who are involved in student assessment and evaluation will certify that they have not provided healthcare to the students they are evaluating. Additionally, faculty members who serve on a Student Academic Progress Committee (SAPC) must certify that they have not, and will not, provide healthcare to the students who will be reviewed by the committee. Department chairs will review this policy annually at their departmental faculty meetings. Students will also attest to their compliance with this policy during registration.


ATTACHMENT 2
ATTESTATION PROCESS FOR STUDENTS AND FACULTY DURING SP ENCOUNTERS

Two weeks before the examination, the Course Administrator/Course Director/Clerkship Director distributes the attestation to the entire class being tested. Students are required to complete the attestation within 72 hours of receipt of the survey. Students who fail to complete the form by the deadline will be given a warning for the first incident. The second and subsequent incidents will result in a professionalism report to the Dean of Student Affairs.

One week before the examination, the Admin/Course Director/Clerkship Director distributes the attestation to the faculty graders. Faculty graders are required to complete the attestation within 72 hours of receipt of the survey.

The Admin/Course Director/Clerkship Director generates a list of conflicts and emails to the Simulation Center.  The Simulation Center will then mark on the schedule the specific conflict by a student and assigned the student to a faculty grader with no conflict.  Upon arrival to the Simulation Center, the faculty should review the list of students assigned to their room and report any issues to the Simulation Center at that time.

If a student is accidentally sent into a room with a faculty grader who they have a conflict of interest due   to a patient-physician relationship, the student should leave the testing room and report to the hall monitor that sent them into the room. This may cause a delay in finish time for the day for that room.

If a faculty grader recognizes that a student was assigned to them and they have a conflict of interest due to a patient-physician relationship, the faculty grader should instruct the student to leave the testing room and report to the hall monitor that sent them into the room. This may cause a delay in finish time for the day for that room.


ATTACHMENT 3
CLERKSHIP STUDENT ASSIGNMENTS

A minimum of one week prior to the start of the Admin/Clerkship Director distributes the preceptor assignment to the student and asks for a response if they have a conflict with the preceptor assigned to them.

A minimum of one week prior to the start of the clerkship, the Admin/Clerkship Director distributes the preceptor assignment to the preceptors and asks for a response if they have a conflict with the student(s) assigned to them.

If a faculty grader recognizes that a student was assigned to them and they have a conflict of interest due to a patient-physician relationship, the faculty grader should contact the Clerkship Director or the course administrator for re- assignment of the student.

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