In 2009, in response to faculty and student demand, the Curriculum Steering Committee (CSC) created a task force to review professional behaviors at the School of Medicine. This Task Force recommended an anonymous and confidential reporting mechanism through which commendations for exemplary and investigation for lapses of professional behaviors could occur. That same year, a SOM Climate Survey further supported the need for such a committee.
With the support of the Office of Undergraduate Medical Education (UME), Faculty Senate and Dean Krugman, the Faculty Professionalism Task Force drafted a policy outlining the workings and make up of the future Faculty Professionalism Committee. The committee members, including 8 Dean-appointed faculty, 2 residents, 2 medical students, and a legal representative are charged with anonymously or confidentially fielding reports of professional behaviors, commending exemplary acts and investigating lapses starting with the 2011-12 Clinical Core. Feedback will be provided to faculty as indicated. In the incidence of major lapses or patterned unprofessional behaviors, recommendations for remediation or other action may occur.
Although originally intended to serve medical students' reporting on faculty, the Office of Graduate Medical Education (GME) expressed interest in using the anonymous reporting system to allow students to report on the professional behaviors of residents and residents to report on faculty. In early 2010, the SOM’s GME Committee approved this policy for the involvement of residents.
After discussing multiple options and mechanisms for reporting, it was decided that EthicsPoint would provide the on-line anonymous system. EthicsPoint is a third-party organization that specializes in confidential and anonymous ethical reporting, with whom the the University of Colorado has prior experience. They will provide the Faculty Professionalism Committee with the reporting mechanism, a database from which to conduct investigations, and a means of generating closing reports and summative analytics. Their services are jointly funded by UME, GME, and the Dean’s office, while the committee's administrative support is provided by the Office of Faculty Affairs.
Beginning with the 2011-12 Clinical Core, the new Faculty Professionalism Committee will work to meet its charge and the EthicsPoint reporting mechanism will be available. To this end, Dr. Robert Low is leading the working group to finalize the build out of the EthicsPoint database; Drs. Wendy Madigosky and Robert Evans are finalizing committee training; and Dr. Stephen Wolf is organizing the educational campaign, Professionalism First, regarding this new process.