Professionalism Behaviors & Attributes

To help students more effectively achieve the School's professionalism learning objectives and to help foster their professional development, the School has developed a set of behaviors of professionalism that students would be expected to aspire to and demonstrate by graduation.

Demonstration of these behaviors starts with the admissions process, and their achievement progresses along a continuum from admission to graduation. This thread is reinforced in sessions that span the preclinical curriculum, and the professional behaviors are assessed in both the pre-clerkship phase (e.g., POMI assessment of students) and in the clerkships (e.g., uniform clinical evaluation).

This set of aspirational behaviors and attributes of academic integrity is vital in fostering professional growth and development. Students should familiarize themselves with the attributes of professionalism and constantly strive to demonstrate them as they progress in their journey through medical school and beyond.

Behaviors & Attributes of Professionalism

Students should aspire to develop the following throughout medical school:


  • Adheres to ethical principles and standards for scholarship, research, and patient care.
  • Models compassion, humility, empathy, integrity, trustworthiness, and honesty.


  • Demonstrates effective communication that promotes understanding, inclusion, and respect for individuals’ diverse characteristics.
  • Demonstrates sensitivity and respect for others, regardless of age, race, ethnicity, cultural background, gender, disability, social or economic status, sexual orientation, professional role, religion, beliefs, or other unique personal characteristics.
  • Acknowledges one’s own implicit biases and attempts to mitigate their impact on interactions with fellow students, faculty, staff, members of the interprofessional clinical team, patients and their family or supports.
  • Maintains a professional demeanor and demonstrates respect for appropriate boundaries in all settings.

Educational Expectations

  • Demonstrates commitment to professional competence; seeks to improve knowledge and skills through life-long learning while recognizing one’s limitations.
  • Demonstrates humility by seeking feedback, acknowledging one’s errors and makes effort to address and remediate them.
  • Develops maturity, resilience, humility, and adaptability in the face of challenges.

Patient Care

  • Demonstrates commitment to patient privacy and confidentiality.
  • Promotes well-being and self-care for patients, colleagues and oneself
  • Demonstrates commitment to fundamental principles that include:
    • Primacy of patient welfare – placing the interests of patients above those of the physician and profits
    • Patient autonomy
    • Social justice

Work Environment & Safety

  • Demonstrates ability to work collaboratively in a manner that exemplifies initiative, responsibility, dependability, collegiality, and accountability.
  • Participates in the processes of self-regulation, including remediation and discipline of colleagues who have failed to meet professional standards; avoids conflicts of interest.

Attributes of Academic Integrity

The list below includes the designated attributes and behaviors but is not limited to these (the list is not all-inclusive or exhaustive); the list includes, by extension, any behavior that could be interpreted as professional but may not be listed here.

Meeting Professional Responsibilities

  • Fulfills responsibilities essential to being a medical student promptly, e.g. responding to emails, completing immunizations, completing assigned tasks by the prescribed deadline.
  • Treats those who participate in one’s education (faculty, standardized patients, staff, clinical team members) with respect.
  • Completes all requested block, course, clerkship, and faculty evaluations and provides constructive feedback in a respectful manner.
  • Treats cadaveric specimens with dignity and respect.
  • Provides treatment with appropriate supervision or authorization.


  • Commits to the highest standards of competence in one’s work.
  • Seeks and accepts constructive feedback from faculty, instructors, residents, and fellow learners in order to improve one’s knowledge and clinical skills; makes needed changes.
  • Accepts responsibility for errors.
  • Acknowledges one’s own strengths as well as inadequacies, limitations, and mistakes and makes appropriate changes and/or seeks help when necessary.

Honesty & Integrity

  • Will not give or receive aid during any examination or assessment unless permitted by the instructor.
  • Will represent accurately one’s professional status as a student physician, avoiding reference to oneself as MD.
  • Recognizes responsibility to abide by the Code of Honor and Professionalism, including participation in its enforcement.
  • Conducts oneself professionally in appearance, demeanor, and use of language in all educational and clinical settings.
  • Will sign only one’s own name to indicate presence at a session and must not sign in for another student or have another student sign in for him/her to falsely indicate one’s presence.
  • Will conduct and report research with integrity and honesty and will not represent the work or ideas of others as one’s own.