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Departmental Addendum

Appropriate Treatment of Learners
Addendum to UMMS Policy
Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternity Center 

The University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternity Center is dedicated to the education of all learners, at every level and role within our institution, and to the creation of a safe learning environment. It is critical to the training of our team members and advancement of our practice that all learners are welcomed with respect, given opportunities to learn without mistreatment or discrimination, and allowed to receive comprehensive education in a supportive environment. As we affirm our commitment to caring for our most vulnerable populations through anti-racism efforts, we also resolve to foster the education of current and future caregivers. It is a departmental expectation that learners will be granted the following:

  • appropriate orientation and training to fulfill their role within the clinical team
  • adequate exposure and hands-on experience commensurate with their role within the team, scope of practice, and future goals
  • inclusion into the multidisciplinary clinical team as a participating member
  • a forum within which to ask questions and raise concerns in a supportive environment without fear of retaliation or punitive measures
  • a well-rounded and comprehensive educational experience
  • collaboration within a system free from discrimination, bullying, coercion or bias from other team members at all levels.

Accordingly, the UMMS/UMMMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternity Center has developed this Addendum to the UMMS Appropriate Treatment of Learners (ATL) policy[1]. When the ATL standards are upheld, the educational environment supports optimal teaching, learning and professional development of all learners. All students should expect to be treated with respect, and to learn and work in a safe environment. All individuals who interact with students are expected to behave in accordance with the ATL policy, which applies to all UMMS/UMMMC Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternity Center faculty, staff, residents, fellows, nurses, administrators and others who interact with learners in educational settings including ambulatory clinics, labor & delivery and postpartum units, gynecology inpatient service, and consulting services.

There will be immediate action taken in the event of inappropriate treatment of learners. Inappropriate treatment of learners occurs when behavior by a member of the learning community shows disrespect for the dignity of learners such that it interferes with their learning process.  Examples of such behaviors include, but are not limited, to the following:

  • Humiliation of learners
  • Verbal attacks towards learners
  • Inappropriate anger or harsh language when addressing a learner
  • Lack of communication with a learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform tasks that belittle the learner
  • Requiring a learner to perform personal services, e.g. babysitting, errands, shopping, etc.
  • Insulting conduct to a learner
  • Disregard for learner safety

The ATL policy and this Addendum does not address sexual harassment complaints, violence/hostility in the workplace, or discrimination as they are addressed in other institutional policies. Learners who believe they have been subject to inappropriate treatment in the learning community are responsible for reporting their complaint as soon as possible.  In addition, any member of the learning community who becomes aware of inappropriate treatment of a learner is strongly encouraged to report the issue to departmental liaisons (Dr Dhivya Kannabiran, Dr. Julianne Lauring, Dr. Gina Sullivan, or Beth Donovan) for further investigation. This commitment by all members of our University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) and UMass Memorial Medical Center (UMMMC) Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Maternity Center community will ensure a productive learning environment for all.

[1] Appropriate Treatment of Learners. Revised 11/20/17. Policy accessed 7/2/20.