Resident Intimidation and Harassment Policy

The Postgraduate Medical Education office at Queen's University and its program directors recognize that residents play an important role in the on-going care of patients and in the delivery of health care services at Queen's University.

Notwithstanding these service requirements which are covered by the contract between the Ontario Teaching Hospitals and the Professional Association of Interns and Residents of Ontario there may be circumstances when the educational objectives for a resident cannot be met due to service demands. This is an unacceptable situation and the Postgraduate Medical Education office will, through its Postgraduate Dean, assure that all residents are protected from inappropriate service demands to education balance. In this context and in the working environment, there are several policies regarding harassment and intimidation which will have application to the postgraduate trainee.

The Postgraduate Medical Education office and its constituents accept the principles as laid out in the position paper on resident well-being by the Canadian Association of Interns and Residents dated June 1998. In particular, we refer to part 7 entitled "Crossing Boundaries/When Training is tainted by Maltreatment".

We support an environment in which residents in the training system will be able to address issues of intimidation and harassment openly.

We further accept the position paper on intimidation and harassment as developed by CAIR and the spirit in which it was written. In addition to the University's grievance and appeal procedures as outlined in as supplement to Queen's Gazette, Volume XXIV, No. 9, March 16, 1992, there is also a Code of Behaviour for the Ethical Teacher at Queen's University (Faculty of Health Sciences). This states that the ethical clinical teacher:

  1. will treat students with respect regardless of level of training, race, creed, colour, gender, sexual orientation, or field of study;
  2. will teach the knowledge, skills, attitudes and behaviour, and provide the experience that the student requires to become a physician in his/her chosen career;
  3. will supervise students at all levels of training as appropriate to their knowledge, skills and experience;
  4. will support and encourage students in their endeavours to learn and to develop their skills and attitudes and a sense of enquiry;
  5. will allow responsibility commensurate with ability;
  6. will see patients when so requested by students;
  7. will teach to students the rationale for decisions, the reasons for conclusions, the reasoning behind investigation and treatment;
  8. will discuss alternate diagnoses, investigations and therapeutic choices and the merits and risks of these;
  9. will assess carefully and accurately students' abilities and provide prompt verbal and written feedback;
  10. will assess only performance and not allow this assessment to be coloured by personal interactions;
  11. will provide remedial teaching when so indicated by assessment;
  12. will maintain a professional teacher-student relationship at all times and avoid the development of emotional, sexual, financial or other relationships with students;
  13. will strive to conduct herself/himself in a fashion to be an excellent role model for students;
  14. will refrain from addressing students in a disparaging fashion;
  15. will refrain from intimidating or attempting to intimidate students;
  16. will refrain from harassment of students in any fashion - emotional, physical or sexual.
We will abide by the work place harassment policy in the human resources policy manual of Kingston General Hospital No. 300.00 pages 1-5, revised 97.08.

We agree with the CMA policy summary entitled "Physician Health and Well-Being" as published in the Journal of the Canadian Medical Association, May 5, 1998, Volume 158 (9).

Any resident who has been the subject of, or has observed others being the subject of, resident intimidation or harassment as defined by any of the above documents, is urged to speak in confidence with:

Dr. G. Ross Walker
Associate Dean, Postgraduate Medical Education
Dr. Walker can be contacted through the PGME Program Manager, Ms. Jordan Sinnett
(613) 533-6000 x75431

Dr. Melissa Andrew
Director of Resident Affairs, Postgraduate Medical Education
(613) 533-2543

Although all complaints will be treated confidentially, it should be pointed out that anonymous complaints make it difficult to follow up on the issue, but all efforts will be made. Resident input with regards to the betterment of the environment in which they work and learn is gratefully sought and acknowledged.

Resident Intimidation Policy:   Approved by PGMEC - March 24/99