Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. What is a major vs. minor professionalism lapse?

Minor and major ‘professionalism lapses’ are reported by preceptors using the Professionalism Assessment Form found on MedSIS. The Professionalism Assessment Form states:

“The differentiation between minor and major lapse is context specific and varies depending on the situation. The main contextual issues are the student’s underlying intention and motivation, and the resulting impact on the patient, the student’s colleagues, the community of practice and the student themselves; A major lapse is when there is evidence of full knowledge that this action was not right and/or the lapse does cause harm. In a case where the differentiation is not clear, please contact the course or clerkship director directly to discuss.”

2. What happens when I have received a professionalism lapse?

If you receive 1 major or 3 minor professionalism lapses you will be invited via email to meet with Dr. Sita Gourishankar, UME Director of Professionalism. This meeting is to allow for discussion and clarification about the reported lapse and is meant to provide support and mentorship. From this, it will be determined if remediation is necessary, and in what form.

If you feel your MedSIS professionalism assessment is inaccurate or have any other academic concerns, please feel free to contact Dr. Gourishankar (sitag@ualberta.ca) as she is very open to meeting with students.

*See: Policy for Assessment and Remediation of Professionalism of Undergraduate Medical
Students

3. Will a professionalism lapse show up on my Medical Student Performance Report (MSPR) when I apply to a residency program?

Professionalism lapses on a Professionalism Assessment Form are not automatically included as “red flags” on the MSPR. In order for a professionalism lapse to be included on a student’s MSPR, there would have to be persistent major lapses in professionalism despite adequate remediation. The UME’s decision to have a professionalism lapse included on a student’s MSPR would involve a lengthy process. In the unlikely event that this were to occur, it would not come as a surprise, as you would be involved throughout the process.

* See: Policy for Assessment and Remediation of Professionalism of Undergraduate Medical
Students

4. I think I may have experienced student mistreatment or unprofessional conduct.
What do I do now?

See ‘Professionalism Resources’ section above

5. What is the Red Button/PAIR?

The Red Button, also known as PAIR, is the Professionalism Accolades and Incidents Reporting button that can be found on the right side of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry home page. It can also be accessed through the home page of MedSIS and One45.

PAIR is a confidential reporting mechanism for learners and staff to identify any mistreatment or unprofessional conduct they have experienced within any of the learning environments of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry.
You may also use PAIR to report an accolade when you witness a peer or preceptor demonstrating highly professional behavior.
If accessed through the Faculty webpage you do not need to log in. If you log in through MedSIS your identifying information will not be recorded, unless you choose to provide it.

There are several advantages to providing your name and e-mail, and every effort is made to preserve confidentiality. By leaving your contact information, someone may follow up with you for more information, and you have greater control over when and how issues of student mistreatment are handled. All individuals who submit a professionalism incident form will receive a summary of the conclusion of the investigation, should they choose to provide their email address.

This form should be used for reporting incidents only and should not be used for emergencies.
All forms will be reviewed within 72 hours of submission, and will be triaged according to level of urgency.

6. What will happen if I push the Red button?

There is no set course of action when it comes to the Red Button - you are in control of what happens next. If you have provided contact information, you will be contacted to further discuss your concern while maintaining complete confidentiality. You will be able to decide if and when your case is pursued.

For example, some students wish to have their concerns addressed immediately; some wait until they have graduated before their case is pursued; and others wish only to have their concern documented and do not want to pursue any further resolution. There will be plenty of support and advice to help guide you.

Submissions can also be made anonymously; however, further follow-up on any form of resolution will not be provided.

7. Absence forms

The absence policy is currently under revision by the MSA and Faculty. The current policy and forms can be accessed using the following link: https://www.med.ualberta.ca/programs/md/policies

There are specific and time-sensitive instructions for applying for excused absences and for submitting forms for absences due to illness. Unexcused absences may result in a major professionalism lapse. It is strongly recommended for all students to familiarize themselves with the updated Absence Policy.

8. I am a resident/fellow. Who can I contact for help with professionalism concerns?

  1. Dr. Erica Dance - Assistant Dean, Resident & Fellow Affairs; and
  2. Dr. Mel Lewis - Associate Dean of LAW
  3. LAW Office, 1-134 Katz Group Centre for Pharmacy & Health Research 780-492-3092, erdance@ualberta.ca, ML5@ualberta.ca 
  4. Resident Wellness Committee Rep
  5. Red/PAIR button on One45