Turning Pro at McGovern Medical School: SCoPE

By Roman Petrowski, Office of Communications

SCoPE - Student Committee on Professionalism and Ethics

Education toward professionalism is more than being skilled and knowledgeable. It requires a lifelong transformational change in how we think, act, and feel as doctors. This professional formation (Turning Pro) is shaped by the community in which we are surrounded.

The Turning Pro series explores the myriad ways McGovern Medical School is educating for lifelong transformation change, so we are individually and collectively highly competent, adaptable, committed to values, and guided to having meaningful lives.

In this issue, McGovern Medical School student Savannah Cruz discusses the Student Committee on Professionalism and Ethics.

What is SCoPE?
SCoPE, the Student Committee on Professionalism and Ethics, was revitalized in 2016 (originally established in 2000 by Margaret McNeese, MD, as SCAIP, or the Student Committee on Academic Integrity and Professionalism). SCoPE is a student-driven committee that reports to the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs.

Comprised of 18 members, six each from the MS2 through MS4 classes, SCoPE’s mission is to promote learning the practice of medicine beyond medical knowledge, to embrace the foundational ideals of physician professionalism and integrity, and to encourage respect and compassion for future patients, colleagues, and oneself.

SCoPE works to promote its mission through three main objectives: organizing initiatives to educate students, acting as a sounding board for students on issues of ethics and professionalism, and hearing misconduct cases and giving a student opinion.

  1. Professionalism initiatives: The organization completes numerous initiatives each year to achieve this goal, including giving class presentations and workshops, awarding the Excellence in Ethics and Professionalism Award to students, inviting guest lecturers to speak on professionalism, researching student professionalism/medical school culture, and more. With each of the initiatives, the goal is to reach students where they are and give them tools to better understand and develop their professional identity.
  2. Acting as a sounding board for students: As members of the MS2-MS4 classes, SCoPE offers advice to fellow students on issues of professionalism and ethics. These issues might include anything from sending a professional email to a faculty member to reporting student mistreatment. The committee’s web page contains links for reporting student mistreatment and professionalism concerns and commendations.
  3. Hearing misconduct cases: In cases of student misconduct, OASA will approach SCoPE and ask that they hear a student’s case and provide suggestions. With these cases, the committee considers where the student may have a deficiency in acting professionally and make recommendations to best address this deficiency. The committee wishes for all students at McGovern Medical School to be successful and improve, and they approach these hearings as a way to help the student rather than to give punitive action.

The SCoPE team works to promote a culture of professionalism at McGovern and provide fellow students with the tools to act ethically and professionally in their future careers. If you would like to learn more about SCoPE, or to see the current initiatives, follow on Instagram at @McGovern_Scope.