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Undergraduate Medical Education

Honor System


An honor system is supported through a continuing resolution of the governing body of the College, adopted at the instigation of the student body some years ago. The system is enthusiastically supported and enforced by the student body. The resolution reads:

"That inasmuch as the practice of medicine requires a degree of personal integrity unexcelled in any other field of human endeavor, the faculty of Albany Medical College assumes that its students are dedicated to live and work together in the spirit of honor which their profession expects and demands.

The faculty, therefore, absolves itself from any direct responsibility for the surveillance of student conduct during examinations and thereby delegates this responsibility to the students."

A revision of the Student Honor Code, the basic element of the honor system, was approved by the student body on May 2, 1977. The Honor Code now incorporates, more specifically, a greater range of student activity and includes graduate students in the basic medical sciences within its purview.

Article I of the Student Honor Code of Albany Medical College states:

"As students of medicine and the medical sciences, we assume the responsibility of our own actions and we further recognize that we are bound to serve ourselves, our peers, and ultimately the patients with whom we are directly or indirectly concerned in the spirit of honesty. As medical students affixing our signature to written exercises or to clinical notes, or in our professional interpersonal relationships, we should act in accordance with the responsibility entrusted to future physicians. As students of medical sciences, graduate investigators must be aware that integrity in all aspects of research is a responsibility entrusted to each individual who would contribute to the published body of scientific knowledge."

Students, at the time of registration at Albany Medical College, are required to sign a statement that they have read the "Student Honor Code of Albany Medical College" and that they pledge to abide by that code. Students whose actions indicate attitudes, behavior or ethical conduct which denote a lack of fitness for the practice of medicine or for the conduct of scientific research shall be considered to be in violation of the Honor Code. Violations of the Honor Code shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

Any attempt to transmit or receive unauthorized information during any examination

Intentional falsification or misrepresentation of an entry in a patient's clinical record

Disrespectful behavior toward patients, faculty, or peers

Plagiarism or the unacknowledged use of research or writings by others

Performing clinical activities with gross incompetence or gross negligence on a particular occasion or negligently on repeated occasions

Deliberately issuing a false statement to the Honor Committee, a faculty member, an administrator, or the College committees or councils

Failure on the part of one student observing a violation of the Honor Code to personally report the offending student or students in accordance with Article IV of the Honor Code or the Honor Code Bylaws

Whenever a student believes that he or she has committed or observed a violation of the Honor Code, or when a faculty member believes that a violation of the Honor Code has been committed, that person is obliged to personally provide a signed written report describing the offense and naming the offending student or students. Reports should be delivered to a member of the Honor Committee and that member of the Honor Committee shall pursue the matter further.

The Honor Committee has full responsibility to receive in private and in writing alleged violations of the Honor Code. The Committee will collect and weigh the facts and report to the Dean, when necessary, alleged violations which do not appear to be frivolous or result from an obvious misunderstanding.

The Committee will reserve no final disciplinary power for itself.
Upon receipt from the Honor Committee of a report alleging violations of the Student Honor Code, the Dean or designee will review the findings forwarded by the Committee and attempt to ascertain if there is additional data or circumstance which may have an impact on the resolution of the situation.

The Honor Committee will make recommendations for further action if asked to do so by the Dean or a designee. The Dean or a designee may impose a sanction if appropriate.

Sanctions involving student dismissal may be heard by the Student Appeals Committee.
The Honor Committee is composed of two members from each of the four medical classes and from the graduate student body attending Albany Medical College. The first-year class will elect one member for a two-year term and one member for a one-year term or until graduation. The Honor Committee shall invite a faculty member of the rank of associate professor or above to sit with the Committee at all proceedings in a nonvoting advisory capacity.