Respectful Environments Recommendations Report

The Dean’s Task Force on Respectful Environments has recommended specific activities that the Faculty of Medicine can undertake to actively create and maintain respectful learning and working environments for students, trainees, staff, and faculty.

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List of Recommendations

Recommendation 1: Simplify and improve online presence to ensure that pathways to policies, procedures, and tools are clear and easy to find for all FoM people (including connection to UBC resources).

Recommendation 2: Harmonize and clarify reporting mechanisms across all areas of the FoM, and clearly state reporting options and processes for receiving, reviewing, investigating, and responding to each type of report. As part of this, clarify the role of the Office of Professionalism for all FoM community members.

Recommendation 3: Build into the response process methods for uncovering potential underlying causes, and include efforts to address these in the response and/or consequences.

Recommendation 4: Communicate the FoM’s commitment to the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment for Students, Faculty, and Staff, and embed the statement and opportunities to commit to it in all appropriate places including, but not limited to, offer letters, onboarding and orientation material, annual review processes, faculty annual activity report, and agreements between supervisors and graduate students.

Recommendation 5: Revise the Professional Standards for Learners and Faculty Members in the FoM document to focus on defining what constitutes a breach of professional standards, and reference – but not duplicate – the UBC Statement on Respectful Environment and discipline-specific professionalism standards.

Recommendation 6: Create online modules and/or infographics that clearly communicate the expectations contained in the UBC Statement on Respectful Environments and the revised Professional Standards document, and require current and future faculty, staff, and learners to review and commit to abiding by them.

Recommendation 7: Identify and implement ways of expressing recognition and appreciation for the positive contributions that community members make towards improving working and learning environments in the FoM. This could include, for example, creating a FoM award to recognize those who make outstanding contributions that enhance the overall civility, professionalism, and respect within FoM environments. The purpose of this would be to celebrate people who have a broad impact – including and beyond their own behaviour – that improves our environments for many people.

Recommendation 8: Include and emphasize respectful behaviour considerations in faculty and staff hiring decisions and performance review processes, including merit and other university and non-university awards.

Recommendation 9: Advocate for UBC to include respectful behaviour considerations in promotion processes for academic and clinical faculty, and tenure criteria/processes for academic faculty.

Recommendation 10: Develop and deliver education and training material for academic and administrative leaders on policies, procedures, and resources related to inappropriate behaviour, and on building leadership capacity to actively foster respectful environments.

Recommendation 11: Develop and deliver education and training material for all faculty, staff, and learners on giving and receiving feedback, identifying ways to respond when witnessing inappropriate behaviour, and clarifying what constitutes incivility and microaggressions, bullying, harassment, sexual harassment, and sexual violence.

Recommendation 12: Develop and deliver Indigenous cultural safety training for all FoM faculty, staff, and learners.

Recommendation 13: Engage program committees and leadership to integrate resiliency training into program curricula, including training on how to respond to inappropriate behaviour from patients and colleagues.

Recommendation 14: Collaborate with the UBC Wellbeing initiative to support wellness and seek to offer appropriate programs across FoM locations.

Recommendation 15: Acknowledge, and support efforts to resolve, the dissonance that can exist between discipline-specific work culture/values and individual values/need for sustainability. For example, encourage faculty, staff, and learners to balance their own drive for excellence with personal needs, and review existing practices to begin to reorient the incentive and reward systems away from celebrating unhealthy work patterns.

Recommendation 16: Ensure learner wellness support services are in place for all programs and available to all types of learners, and that they are offered in a clear and coordinated way.

Recommendation 17: Demonstrate our commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion so that people from all backgrounds see and experience the FoM as an inclusive and respectful place to learn and work. Support this by setting metrics regarding the degree to which the FoM leadership and community as a whole reflects the diversity of BC’s population, and regarding the degree of inclusion experienced by FoM community members – in particular those who identify with a group that has been underrepresented in our faculty, staff, and learner populations.

Recommendation 18: Ensure that any respectful environment communication, education, and training material includes and is sensitive to a variety of perspectives and lived experiences of those who identify with a group that is underrepresented in our working and learning environments.

Recommendation 19: Create opportunities for people to provide feedback and discuss supports that they would find helpful in order to create inclusive and respectful working and learning environments.

Recommendation 20: Define concrete, observable indicators of respectful environments and gather high-level, FoM-wide baseline data on them shortly after launching DTFRE recommendations, and gather progress data periodically thereafter to determine whether recommended initiatives are having an impact.

Recommendation 21: Standardize the FoM’s approach to capturing data on various types of learning environment concerns and evaluate the feasibility of using a similar approach to capturing escalated working environment concerns.

Recommendation 22: Systematically conduct exit interviews/surveys with departing staff, faculty, and students, including questions about respectfulness of the environments.

Recommendation 23: Engage professional associations and Health Authorities, including the First Nations Health Authority, to co-develop approaches to increasing wellness, respectfulness, and professionalism in our shared working and learning environments. Include information on the link between civility and patient safety.

Recommendation 24: Collaborate with Health Authorities to develop mechanisms, such as information sharing agreements, common definitions, and joint processes for addressing concerns, to effectively respond to disrespectful/unprofessional conduct that manifests in the clinical areas where there is intermingling of HA and UBC personnel and joint jurisdiction and accountability.

Recommendation 25: Collaborate with leadership in clinical environments to ensure tools for dealing with disrespectful or discriminatory patients are available to all learners, staff, and faculty.

Recommendation 26: Explore with Health Authorities ways of ensuring that all faculty members who have UBC and HA affiliations are aware of, and commit to, adhering to respectful environment expectations, potentially through annual re-credentialing requirements.