Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Phone: (301) 295-3270
FAX: (301) 295-3034
The graduate educational process requires a free and non-threatening environment that is conducive to free inquiry and learning. An atmosphere of tolerance, openness, and mutual respect between students, faculty, and staff is essential in creating an optimal academic environment. MPS faculty, students, and staff highly value this atmosphere and deserve and have every right to expect it. Therefore, our Department is constantly striving to create and foster conditions that promote this kind of positive atmosphere. Consistent with University guidelines for treatment of medical students, a set of guidelines for faculty, student, and staff interactions in our Department serves the purpose of furthering our commitment to maintaining an open learning environment.
The educational experience brings students into contact with hundreds of professional and technical personnel whose roles and authority influence student training, affect the educational environment and its processes, and contribute to one's sense of professional/personal image. Exposure to such a wide variety of personnel enhances the educational process. University faculty members vary in their training philosophies, and these differences can enrich the educational experience.
Occasionally, some faculty, staff, or students undermine the educational program through behavior patterns that are clearly perceived as hurtful, out of bounds, or sometimes even abusive. Examples of such mistreatment include hurtful, insulting, or humiliating verbal comments, actual or implied punitive assessment, inappropriate communication of negative comments about students or faculty to other students, hurtful gossip, and any form of sexual harassment or discrimination.
Students and staff are particularly vulnerable in these situations because their authority is limited, and they may fear retaliation or consequences from those they accuse and those to whom they may appeal. It is the official policy of the Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology that inappropriate or abusive behavior towards students by faculty, staff, or other students will not be tolerated and will be addressed accordingly.
The Department will assure that there is an appropriate redress for students, faculty, or staff who perceive they are being mistreated. This will include availability, willingness to listen, willingness to investigate, and follow-through by advising students, staff, and faculty about available actions that are responsive to the issue. A formal procedure for addressing grievances is presented in the MPS Student Handbook. However, it is understood that there may be circumstances where the student does not feel that this process is adequate for a redress of grievances. Where possible, students should initially discuss problems with faculty with the individual directly involved. Students may then take up the issue with their Advisor, the Director of Clinical Training, Director of Graduate Studies, or the Department Chairman. Students are also advised that they may bring such matters to the attention of any faculty or University official with whom they are particularly comfortable.
The Department will assure that there will be no retaliation for student complaints. Student, faculty, and staff making reports of mistreatment can expect their concerns to be addressed in a timely, respectful, and sensitive fashion. We all deserve an academic environment of openness, mutual respect, and tolerance, and we in the Department will also assure that these guidelines will be enforced.