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Professionalism Program

Professionalism Project

The Professionalism Project (HELPERS-PRO) of the University of Maryland School of Medicine is dedicated to improving the professionalism of its faculty, students and staff in their provision of biomedical education, basic and clinical research, quality patient care and service to improve the health of the citizens of Maryland and beyond. The Project is especially committed to this emphasis in the education and training of medical, MD/PhD, graduate, physical therapy and rehabilitation science and medical and research technology students.

HELPERS-PRO Student Advisory Committee

The HELPERS-PRO Student Advisory Committee was formed with the idea that without student initiative and direction to augment efforts by faculty and administration, the ultimate goal of creating an atmosphere of professionalism in the medical school would be difficult to completely achieve.

Being on track to become a physician carries with it a level of responsibility that cannot be divorced from a need for the highest level of professionalism, however, such a level of professionalism can only be achieved by self determination, and not by direction alone.

The mission of the committee is to create a venue for open dialogue among students about what professionalism should mean for them in the context of their role as up-and-coming health professionals. In this way, a culture of self education (and self enforcement when necessary) can develop, creating a community of medical students that, in its own way, embraces the fact that professionalism will always be an integral part of the profession which they have all chose to undertake.

Gold Humanism Honor Society

The Humanism Honor Society at the University of Maryland was established in October 2002 to provide a means of recognizing medical students, house officers and faculty members demonstrating meritorious humanistic qualities.

Approximately 10-15 percent of the 4th year class is elected to membership in the fall of each year. New members are nominated by peers and faculty members and are selected from among the nominees by a committee composed of clerkship directors and coordinators, academic deans, and faculty and resident honor society members. Six residents and one faculty member are also selected each year by those members of the society who at that time are associated with the medical center. Members also include those residents selected to membership in societies in other schools of medicine and a core group of humanistic faculty selected by the dean.

White Coat Ceremony

An annual White Coat Ceremony was initiated in 1997. We seek to instill a spirit of professionalism, and select speakers who reflect these values. After the completion of their structure and development course, students are given their white coats and are presented with a scroll containing a summary of core values we feel every medical student must uphold. This event is open to parents and loved ones. The students also sign a leather bound book affirming their dedication to upholding the school's Honor Code. The book has been signed by every class since the Class of 2006 and is kept in a case at the offices of the Medical Alumni Association.

Student Clinician Ceremony

In 2002, we initiated a Student Clinician Ceremony for rising third-year students in order to re-emphasize the values as students enter the clinical years. The Student Clinician Ceremony takes place immediately before the onset of the clinical years of medical school. Our students have just completed two rigorous years, learning basic science, and exploring, through clinical experiences, how to take a sensitive history and perform a thorough physical examination. The students now are ready to go to the bedside on a daily basis, and will have intensive and focused rotations in Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Family Medicine, Neurology, and Psychiatry.

Last Revision: July 15, 2014