In November 2017, there were concerns raised about the Faculty of Medicine’s learning environment. These concerns included allegations of bullying, intimidation, harassment and sexual harassment. As a result of the issues, authorization for a unit assessment was requested from the president of Memorial University, which was granted.
The Unit Assessment, conducted by Dr. Sandra LeFort, involved written submissions by learners, staff and faculty members as well as an opportunity for learners, staff and faculty to meet individually with Dr. LeFort. Dr. LeFort also reviewed key documents including policies and procedures related to intimidation, harassment and sexual harassment. The Unit Assessment can be found here.
Upon release of the unit assessment final report in July of 2018, the dean of medicine established a Unit Assessment Working Group to review the 39 recommendations and to establish an implementation plan. This working group is comprised of faculty and staff members that reflect key leadership positions within the Faculty of Medicine as well as learner representatives from the doctor of medicine (MD) program, postgraduate training programs and graduate studies.
Unit Assessment Report Update
On Oct. 31, 2019, a second and final unit assessment report was delivered to President Gary Kachanoski. This follows an intial report given to the president on March 15, 2019. The report contains the faculty’s progress on the implementation of the recommendations contained in the unit assessment.
The recommendations that have already been addressed include:
- A website focused on professionalism and mistreatment, which contains resources and contact information for faculty, staff and learners has been developed.
- A Professionalism Working Group was established in June 2017 with a mandate to review professionalism practices and curriculum within all educational programs, to create a set of recommendations to enhance the culture of professionalism within the faculty and encourage the appropriate development of a professional identity in our learners. They developed the mistreatment survey. After the unit assessment, the work of that group was complete.
- A Mistreatment Research Group has been established to analyze the results of the mistreatment survey and to communicate results to the Faculty of Medicine community.
- All policy concerns raised in the unit assessment are being addressed by the Faculty of Medicine Policy Development Committee. They have been divided into short and long term recommendations with the goal that all policies need to reflect the same values of respect, fairness and freedom from mistreatment/ harassment in the learning environment.
- The Faculty of Medicine has increased awareness of existing policies and procedures regarding intimidation, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. In February/March of 2018, educational sessions were provided to all learners, faculty and staff regarding the Respectful Workplace/Learning Environment policies and procedures and the Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault policy and procedures.
- Information about the policies and procedures is provided at all learner orientations and on a faculty onboarding checklist.
- A planning committee has been established to create a training module regarding intimidation, bullying, harassment and sexual harassment. It is anticipated the online module will be launched before the end of 2019.
- A planning committee has been established to develop an action plan for the Reconstitution of the Office of Student Affairs.
- A planning committee has also been established to develop an Assistant Dean, Faculty Wellness, Equity, and Professionalism position in the faculty.
The unit assessment working group will be evolving to the Culture of Excellence Project Team as part of Destination Excellence and will be co-chaired by Jacinta Reddigan and Dr. Tanis Adey.
If you have any concerns or feedback regarding the implementation of the unit assessment recommendations, please do not hesitate to contact the policy analyst (Jacinta.firstname.lastname@example.org).