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Professional Issues

On Presenting a Professional Image

The medical school curriculum and the subsequent years of postgraduate training prepare you for the practice of medicine. What is not taught through a formal course is professionalism. From your very first day of medical school it is essential that you see yourself as a health care professional and act accordingly. Courtesy and honor are hallmarks of a professional. Please keep in mind that your colleagues' and patients' first impression of you is based upon your appearance and demeanor, and it is important that you present a professional image. You don't get a second chance to make a first impression. We do not expect skirts and shirts and ties to be worn at all times, particularly since such attire may not be appropriate for laboratory courses. However, we do expect you to wear clothing that is clean and in good condition. As a medical student attending the University of Maryland School of Medicine, you have both the privilege and the responsibility of upholding the image of the many fine physicians who have preceded you.

Dress Code Policy

We expect that you will adhere to the UMMC dress code below when caring for patients at UMMC or any other patient care facility. In section 4.3 regarding attire, the SOM has these additional requirements and clarifications:

  • Gentlemen should wear slacks, a shirt with a collar and a tie
  • Ladies should wear a skirt or dress approaching your knees or full length slacks and a shirt or blouse with a reasonable neckline
  • You should always wear your white coat and identification tag
  • Scrubs are appropriate only with your white coat
  • You should not wear open toe shoes
  • You should wear dress shoes of a sensible heel height

The final section refers to “business casual attire.” This section is in line with our expectations for you in the classroom. The following items are also appropriate for the classroom:

  • Clean and tidy denim pants and skirts
  • Capri pants or knee length shorts
  • Tennis shoes or sneakers that are clean and in good repair

The UMMC staff and our faculty will be in contact with OSA regarding any student who does not adhere to the dress code. Possible consequences include exclusion from patient care activities and loss of credit for time missed. More serious consequences may ensue for repeated violations.

Our goal is to teach professionalism to our students and for you to begin seeing yourselves as young professional physicians in training and thus act accordingly. In addition, such habits and deportment will enable you to gain the trust of your patients so that you may build strong therapeutic alliances with them. Further, several of these measures serve to keep you safe from hazards that exist in the hospital specifically with regard to infectious agents.

Legislative Matters

It is the policy of the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) campus and the University System of Maryland to have a single, unified voice for addressing matters of legislative concern with the Maryland General Assembly, local and federal governments. The Office of Government and Community Affairs is part of the UMB Office of External Affairs and is responsible for guiding and coordinating the development and presentation of UMB's position on federal, state, and local government concerns.

Any visits or testimony with legislators during your tenure as a University of Maryland School of Medicine student MUST have prior approval. Students need to notify Barbara Klein or Deborah Neels in the UMB Office of Government and Community Affairs. See contact information below.

The staff in the Annapolis office will be glad to assist you with legislative matters or questions you may have:

Location: 44 West Street, Annapolis, MD 21401
Telephone: 410-269-5087
Fax: 410-269-1985

Approved 1.25.2010  

Liability Insurance

In the course of providing medical care today, even as a medical student, you may possibly be sued by a patient or one of their family members who is legally designated to do so. The allegation usually is that in carrying out the duty you had to the patient, you breached the standard of care that would have been rendered by most other medical students in a similar situation, and this was the cause of the patient's injury resulting in damages. To protect you, professional liability insurance has been purchased from the Maryland Medical Comprehensive Insurance Program (MMCIP). This is a joint venture between the University of Maryland Medical System (UMMS) and University Physicians, Inc. (UPI), established since 1985 to provide via a Self Insurance Trust professional liability insurance for most physicians and all employees providing medical/health care services at UMMS and UPI and their approved affiliates.

In order to provide advice to mitigate a serious situation or to obtain representation promptly, please contact us immediately in the event of the following:

  • Any diagnostic or therapeutic complication
  • Incident or potential liability claim
  • Contact by an attorney
  • Receipt of a subpoena or claim letter

Please call the Office of Risk Management at 410-328-4704 if you have further questions.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

HIPAA applies to health plans, clearinghouses and health care providers who transmit protected health information. Academic medical centers like the School of Medicine who do business with or obtain PHI from them must also comply with HIPAA.

All medical students are required to be HIPAA certified.

Background Checks

Any clinical training site may screen students in the same manner in which the site screens employees. Students may be required to have an additional health examination, be tested for drugs or be fingerprinted for a criminal background clearance before beginning placement. Students who cannot pass training site clearance requirements may not be able to fulfill the essential requirements needed to obtain a degree.

Social Media Policy

All University of Maryland School of Medicine students are required to strictly adhere to the School's social media policy. For the full policy, please click the link below:

University of Maryland School of Medicine Social Media Policy 

Last Revision: January 29, 2013