June 26, 2020
The Student Committee on Professionalism and Ethics (SCoPE, formed in 2018), is a wonderful student-led committee of the Office of Admissions and Student Affairs (OASA) charged with helping to shape the culture of professionalism at McGovern Medical School. The committee evolved from the Student Committee on Academic Integrity and Professionalism (SCAIP, started in 2000) and is focused on giving students the tools to better understand and develop their professional identity. The 18 members of SCoPE, with representatives from the M2, M3, and M4 years, work closely with the OASA and, where appropriate, provide suggestions in cases of alleged student breaches of professional conduct. SCoPE members also participate in research and help develop content relevant to the professionalism curriculum at the medical school.
This past year SCoPE worked to develop a school-wide definition of professionalism. This initiative grew out of the committee’s discussions with Drs. Sylvia and Richard Cruess of McGill University, well-known pioneers of medical professionalism education who visited McGovern last year. They stressed the importance of creating a definition tailored to the McGovern community to serve as a common framework for teaching and practicing professionalism at all levels of medical education.
To create a definition that would mirror the beliefs and concerns of our community, SCoPE surveyed students, trainees, faculty, and staff, asking for personal reflections on the meaning of professionalism. The medical school community responded enthusiastically, providing a broad array of thoughtful definitions. SCoPE analyzed responses and created a series of draft definitions that were further refined with feedback from faculty and student representatives. Five foundational values, reflecting our highest ideals, were identified — respect, integrity, compassion, collaboration, and self-improvement. The attached definition will serve as a guiding principle for our community and a framework to develop future professionalism initiatives undertaken by SCoPE and others.
Please join me in thanking the members of SCoPE for their hard work on this important initiative. We welcome your thoughts and comments on this proposed new McGovern Medical School definition of professionalism.