Professionalism, Medical and Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS)
Medical and MPAS students have joined the medical profession. A code of behaviour is expected of the medical profession; one code has been based on the Hippocratic Oath which has existed for over two thousand years.

The Hippocratic oath is taken by medical students at their inauguration to the Faculty of Medicine and is repeated at their graduation. During their undergraduate years the students learn and should practice professional behaviour - initially in their relationships with fellow students and faculty and later, and more importantly, with their patients. The development of respect, communication, responsibility and attitudes in the pre-clinical years will be essential in the clinical years when the patient is the focus of one's work.

THE HIPPOCRATIC OATH (Geneva 1948)

  • I will give respect to my teachers.
  • I will practice medicine with conscience and dignity. The health and life of my patients will be my first consideration.
  • I will hold in confidence all that my patient confides in me.
  • I will maintain the honour and noble traditions of the medical profession. My colleagues will be my brothers and sisters.
  • I will not permit consideration of race, religion, nationality, party politics, or social standing to intervene between my duty and my patient.
  • I will maintain the utmost respect of human life.
  • Even under threat I will not use my knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.  These promises I make freely and upon my honour.

That a standard of professional behaviour is expected of students is clear from:

Requirements for Registration to Practise Medicine, General Regulation 7.  The Faculty Executive Council reserves the right to require any student to withdraw from the program for which the student is enrolled when it believes the student to be unsuited, on general considerations of scholarship, or conduct for the profession, or the field within the profession, to which the program of studies normally leads.  This right prevails notwithstanding any other provision in the Faculty regulations.’

The University of Manitoba Charter

It is a fundamental standard of the University of Manitoba community to provide all its members with the opportunity for inquiry and the freedom to discuss and express one's views openly and freely without fear of retaliation, or abuse of person or property.  These attributes are the foundation of good citizenship.  To this end, students, staff and faculty have an obligation to act in a fair and reasonable manner toward one another and the environment and physical property of the University.

By this charter, choosing to join the community at the University of Manitoba obligates each member:

  • To practice personal and academic integrity;
  • To respect the dignity and individuality of all persons;
  • To respect the rights and property of others;
  • To take responsibility for one's own personal & academic commitments;
  • To contribute to our community for fair, cooperative and honest inquiry & learning;
  • To respect and strive to learn from differences in people, ideas and opinions;
  • To refrain from and discourage behaviours which threaten the freedom and respect every individual deserves.

Guidelines for Undergraduates and MPAS Students

Below are examples of what is expected of a student who has entered the profession of medicine:

Professional Respect:

  • The student considers and treats both genders equally.
  • The student listens and is attentive when working with other people.
  • The student uses appropriate facial and body expressions when working with other people.
  • The student is not superior, arrogant, patronising or rude.
  • The student accepts that other people have different opinions and beliefs.
  • The student does not discriminate other people on the basis of sexual preference.
  • The student is honest in the performance of work, evaluation and duties.
  • The student apologises for mistakes.
  • The student maintains non-sexual behaviour with all patients and does not commit unwanted sexual advances with others.

Professional Communication:

  • The student speaks and listens directly to patients, staff and fellow students.
  • The student speaks lucidly and uses appropriate words which can be understood.
  • The student allows time for others to express their views and give their information fully.
  • The student provides full information when requested or volunteers it when it is felt to be helpful to others.
  • The student, at a level appropriate to the students' training and responsibility, informs patients on their problems and recommended course of action.  The student must involve the patient in the decisions.  The student does not have the authority nor responsibility to obtain informed consent from patients.
  • The student resolves misunderstandings.
  • The student is aware of facial and body expressions.
  • The student accepts and discusses emotional matters.
  • The student writes legibly and clearly so that written notes, orders and evaluations can be understood.
  • The student confirms that the information has been understood by staff, fellow students and patients.
  • The student maintains full confidentiality on all that is learnt in confidence from fellow students, staff and patients.

 Professional Responsibility:

  • The student is punctual and attends when expected.
  • The student completes assigned tasks and duties.
  • When the student cannot undertake tasks or duties, he/she will inform patients or appropriate authorities as soon as possible of the situation and will help find alternate arrangements.
  • The student works to help fellow students and staff.
  • The student realises and seeks help when unable to perform a task or duty to the expected standard.
  • The student does not allow the use of alcohol or drugs to interfere with the performance of tasks or duties.

Professional Attitudes:

  • The student is prepared to admit her/his deficiencies in knowledge, understanding or skills.
  • The student is prepared to ask for help to overcome deficiencies.
  • The student is aware and uses his/her own strengths to general advantage.
  • The student is aware of her/his own discomfort in dealing with emotionally charged issues.
  • The student accepts fair and reliable criticism or adverse evaluations from staff, fellow students or patients.
  • The student acts with honestly and integrity in all academic activities.
  • The student keeps all evaluation material confidential and does not take unfair advantage over fellow students when being evaluated.