Residency

Tip of the week: Separate disciplinary issues from academic probation

Residency Program Insider, May 5, 2008

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Administrators can judge resident performance based on different factors. When performance is sub-par, it’s important to separate disciplinary behaviors from academic issues. An academic probation is necessary for issues such as:

  • Missing too many conferences
  • Not reading the literature for patient care preparation
  • Not performing at expected levels

In these cases, place the resident on review. More serious offenses may require stronger action, and include:

  • Substance abuse
  • Cheating on an exam
  • Performing unnecessary procedures on patients to gain more operative experience

To handle such disciplinary issues, you may need to involve your state’s licensure board or law enforcement. Administrators and program directors should create a policy for grievance and due process, paying special attention to whether a resident is seriously disruptive or simply struggling academically. 

This week’s tip is from The Graduate Medical Education Committee Handbook, by Vicki Hamm and contributing author Christine Redovan, MBA. 



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