Student Grievance Policy

Grievance Policy (ARC-PA Standard A3.17d)

Harassment/Mistreatment of a Student Policy:

The CWRU PA program expects teachers and students to demonstrate respect and professional concern by holding each other to the highest standards in learning, without abuse, humiliation or harassment of any kind, by not exploiting a relationship for personal gain or advantage, and by demonstrating the highest standards of ethical conduct in all settings.

Mistreatment arises when behavior shows disrespect for the dignity of others and unreasonably interferes with the learning process. Examples of mistreatment include public belittlement or humiliation, threats of physical harm or punishment, inappropriate requests to do personal services (shopping or babysitting), sexual harassment, and discrimination or harassment based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation.

Neglect might be used to describe situations in which a student is openly ignored, is excluded from important decisions, or made to feel “invisible.” Neglect is different from overt mistreatment but can still interfere with the learning process.  

If a student feels that he or she has been harassed, mistreated or experienced neglect during the conduct of the curriculum, and is uncomfortable addressing this directly with the colleague involved, we urge the student to discuss his/her concerns as soon as possible through one of the options detailed below.

  • Students in any phase of the curriculum may address their concerns with the Director of Didactic Curriculum or the Director of Clinical Curriculum.
  • Students in any phase of the program are strongly encouraged to bring the matter to the attention of their advisor or the PA program director.
  • Alternatively, students have the option of contacting Dr. Patricia Thomas, School of Medicine Vice Dean for Medical Education,, or G. Dean Patterson, Jr., Associate Vice President of the University Office for Student Affairs. The University Student Affairs office is not part of the medical school administration. Students can e-mail Mr. Patterson at or call the office at 216.368.2020 to make an appointment. The office is located at 110 Adelbert Hall on Adelbert Road.
  • Online Reporting:  The PA program utilizes the online reporting mechanism regarding “Mistreatment or Neglect” established by the School of Medicine, by which students can report experiences of harassment, mistreatment or neglect.  These reports are confidential but not anonymous and are reviewed by the Vice Dean for Medical Education or the PA program director.  The form is available online at:
  • Box Reporting: The PA program utilizes the hardcopy reporting system established for the School of Medicine. A box to leave these reports is located outside SOM E-405. These reports are confidential and will be reviewed by the Vice Dean for Medical Education or the PA program director or the appropriate PA program faculty member.
  • Note: Without specific information, the School may be limited in its ability to respond to the report.

* This policy is modeled after the SOM “Student Mistreatment Policy,” approved July 23, 2015 by the SOM Committee on Medical Education (CME).