Learning Environment / Professionalism and Student Mistreatment

Learning Environment

Wake Forest University School of Medicine is committed to creating and maintaining a learning environment that supports and encourages respect for every individual, and promotes the development of professionalism among medical students.

This office serves all learners at the School of Medicine: medical students, graduate students, PA students, Academic Nursing students, residents and fellows. All faculty, staff, medical students, including visiting students, residents and fellows on the medical center campus and across all instructional sites share responsibility for creating a positive and supportive learning environment. Our goal is to create a culture that enhances patient care, learning, scholarship and research, commitment to the health care needs of society, and the ability of all members of the School of Medicine community to interact and carry out their responsibilities in a supportive and respectful fashion.


As part of their formal training, School of Medicine students learn the importance of demonstrating the attributes of a professional and understand the balance of privileges and obligations that the public and the profession expect of a health care provider. The importance of understanding and possessing the professional attributes expected of health care providers is emphasized throughout the school.

The professionalism attributes that are taught and assessed include:

  • Respect for patients
  • Responsibility in actions
  • Honor and integrity
  • Reverence for human life
  • Compassion
  • Dedication to teamwork
  • Ethical decision-making


The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) states, “Mistreatment, either intentional or unintentional, occurs when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process.”

Examples include: discrimination and harassment; public humiliation; physical harm or threats of harm; and threats of lower evaluations or lower grades.

Student Mistreatment FAQs

Student Mistreatment and Reporting

Sarah Riney serves as the global Learning Environment Liaison (formerly the Student Advocate), the central reporting resource for professionalism concerns for all School of Medicine students, as well as for visiting students, non-School of Medicine clinical students and non-affiliated student interns.

To report a learning environment or mistreatment concern, or to report a positive learning environment experience, please use the following:

Report a Learning Environment/Mistreatment Concern