Conduct & Grievances

Student Conduct and Professionalism
Complaints Regarding Non-Compliance with American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Accreditation Standards

American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Code of Ethics

Student Conduct and Professionalism

Professionalism is one of the American Osteopathic Association’s and ARCOM’s core values. It demands placing the interests of patients above those of the physician, setting and maintaining standards of competence and integrity, and providing expert advice to society on matters of health. The principles and responsibilities of medical professionalism must be clearly understood by both the profession and society.

Each osteopathic medical student is to display professionalism at all times in and out of the classroom. As mentors and role models for other ARCOM students, each student is expected to:

  1. Dress in a professional manner
  2. Attend scheduled classes.
  3. Communicate using professional language.
  4. Obey all ARCOM policies.
  5. Commit to lifelong learning.
  6. Participate in ARCOM activities and functions.
  7. Be committed to professional competence.
  8. Be honest.
  9. Comply with patient confidentially.
  10. Maintain appropriate relations with patients.
  11. Seek to improve the quality and access to care.
  12. Be committed to an equitable distribution of finite resources.
  13. Maintain trust by managing conflicts of interests.
  14. Embrace professional responsibilities.

As members of a profession, physicians and osteopathic medical students should be respectful of one another and participate in the processes of self-regulation, including remediation and discipline of members who have failed to meet professional standards. ARCOM students will not interfere with the rights, safety, or health of members of the ARCOM community nor interfere with other students’ rights and privileges in pursuit of their education. Students are expected to abide by all ARCOM and program rules and regulations and all local, state, and federal laws and regulations affecting their education and profession.

Examples of student conduct which violate professional standards and will lead to disciplinary action by ARCOM include, but are not limited to:

  1. Theft, robbery, and related crimes.
  2. Damaging or stealing school property, or property of any school employee or visitor.
  3. Disruptive behavior/disorderly conduct on the campus, at affiliated sites, or at any official sponsored events on or off campus.
  4. Intentionally interfering with classes, research, administration, patient care, movement of other people, or school fuctions.
  5. Showing a lack of respect towards other students, patients, faculty, staff, administration, or other school personnel.
  6. Harassing any other student, employee, or visitor to the school, sexually or otherwise.
  7. Any activity that may be construed as hazing or engaging in, supporting, promoting, or sponsoring the hazing of another student, faculty, or staff member.
  8. Violating local, state, or federal law, or being indicted by a local, state, or federal court system for a felony.
  9. Behavior, on or off campus, which creates a lack of respect and confidence on behalf of the public, faculty, or colleagues.
  10. Failure to abide by a written or oral directive from faculty, staff, security, or administration.
  11. Being mentally or constitutionally unable to follow the directions provided by faculty, staff, administration, or other school personnel.
  12. Committing violations of academic integrity, such as cheating and plagiarism.
  13. Intentionally providing false information to the school or officers of the school or altering records.
  14. Impeding or obstructing an ARCOM investigatory, administrative, or judicial proceeding.
  15. Failure to appear at meetings when called to offer testimony, or failure to testify fully and truthfully during any such appearances.
  16. Intentionally practicing or appearing to practice medicine without a license (such as engaging in clinical activity without the direct supervision of a licensed physician) or accepting any form of reimbursement, payment, or gift for performance of clinical duties.
  17. Using, distributing, selling, or possessing illicit drugs or non-prescribed substances.
  18. Distributing or selling prescription medications.
  19. Participating in academic or clinical endeavors at ARCOM or affiliated institutions while under the influence of alcohol, a controlled substance, or illicit drugs.
  20. Using the ARCOM’s logo or name on a poster, stationery, clothing, etc., without written permission.
  21. Having food or events with food in non-designated areas.
  22. Posting unapproved material or posting approved material in an inappropriate area.
  23. Tampering with any fire alarm or equipment, or possessing any firearm or weapon, including fireworks, air pistols, or air rifles on campus or affiliated clinical site.
  24. Misusing computer hardware, software, or supplies.
  25. Irresponsibly sharing of student PINs and passwords.
  26. Improperly using online learning tools, including, but not limited to, the Internet, e-mail, chat rooms, news groups, forums, social media, and/or list serves.
  27. Failure to pay tuition and fees in a timely manner.
  28. Violations of the terms or conditions of a disciplinary sanction imposed by the administration.

The American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Code of Ethics and Rules and Guidelines on Physicians’ Professional Conduct are provided as references for ARCOM’s students as they begin to develop their professional identities.

American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Code of Ethics

Taken from

The American Osteopathic Association has formulated this Code to guide its member physicians in their professional lives. The standards presented are designed to address the osteopathic physician’s ethical and professional responsibilities to patients, to society, to the AOA, to others involved in healthcare and to self.

Further, the American Osteopathic Association has adopted the position that physicians should play a major role in the development and instruction of medical ethics.

Section 1. The physician shall keep in confidence whatever she/he may learn about a patient in the discharge of professional duties. Information shall be divulged by the physician when required by law or when authorized by the patient.

Section 2. The physician shall give a candid account of the patient’s condition to the patient or to those responsible for the patient’s care.

Section 3. A physician-patient relationship must be founded on mutual trust, cooperation, and respect. The patient, therefore, must have complete freedom to choose her/his physician. The physician must have complete freedom to choose patients whom she/he will serve. However, the physician should not refuse to accept patients for reasons of discrimination, including, but not limited to, the patient’s race, creed, color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity or handicap. In emergencies, a physician should make her/his services available.

Section 4. A physician is never justified in abandoning a patient. The physician shall give due notice to a patient or to those responsible for the patient’s care when she/he withdraws from the case so that another physician may be engaged.

Section 5. A physician shall practice in accordance with the body of systematized and scientific knowledge related to the healing arts. A physician shall maintain competence in such systematized and scientific knowledge through study and clinical applications.

Section 6. The osteopathic medical profession has an obligation to society to maintain its high standards and, therefore, to continuously regulate itself. A substantial part of such regulation is due to the efforts and influence of the recognized local, state and national associations representing the osteopathic medical profession. A physician should maintain membership in and actively support such associations and abide by their rules and regulations.

Section 7. Under the law a physician may advertise, but no physician shall advertise or solicit patients directly or indirectly through the use of matters or activities which are false or misleading.

Section 8. A physician shall not hold forth or indicate possession of any degree recognized as the basis for licensure to practice the healing arts unless he is actually licensed on the basis of that degree in the state in which she/he practices. A physician shall designate her/his osteopathic school of practice in all professional uses of her/his name. Indications of specialty practice, membership in professional societies, and related matters shall be governed by rules promulgated by the American Osteopathic Association.

Section 9. A physician should not hesitate to seek consultation whenever she/he believes it advisable for the care of the patient.

Section 10. In any dispute between or among physicians involving ethical or organizational matters, the matter in controversy should first be referred to the appropriate arbitrating bodies of the profession.

Section 11. In any dispute between or among physicians regarding the diagnosis and treatment of a patient, the attending physician has the responsibility for final decisions, consistent with any applicable hospital rules or regulations.

Section 12. Any fee charged by a physician shall compensate the physician for services actually rendered. There shall be no division of professional fees for referrals of patients.

Section 13. A physician shall respect the law. When necessary a physician shall attempt to help to formulate the law by all proper means in order to improve patient care and public health.

Section 14. In addition to adhering to the foregoing ethical standards, a physician shall recognize a responsibility to participate in community activities and services.

Section 15. It is considered sexual misconduct for a physician to have sexual contact with any current patient whom the physician has interviewed and/or upon whom a medical or surgical procedure has been performed.

Section 16. Sexual harassment by a physician is considered unethical. Sexual harassment is defined as physical or verbal intimation of a sexual nature involving a colleague or subordinate in the workplace or academic setting, when such conduct creates an unreasonable, intimidating, hostile or offensive workplace or academic setting.

Section 17. From time to time, industry may provide some AOA members with gifts as an inducement to use their products or services. Members who use these products and services as a result of these gifts, rather than simply for the betterment of their patients and the improvement of the care rendered in their practices, shall be considered to have acted in an unethical manner.

Section 18. A physician shall not intentionally misrepresent himself/herself or his/her research work in any way.

Section 19. When participating in research, a physician shall follow the current laws, regulations and standards of the United States or, if the research is conducted outside the United States, the laws, regulations and standards applicable to research in the nation where the research is conducted. This standard shall apply for physician involvement in research at any level and degree of responsibility, including, but not limited to, research, design, funding, and participation either as examining and/or treating provider, supervision of other staff in their research, analysis of data and publication of results in any form for any purpose.

Complaints Regarding Non-Compliance with American Osteopathic Association (AOA) Accreditation Standards

ARCOM is committed to meeting the standards for Accreditation of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine: ARCOM Accreditation Standards and Procedures as described by the Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation (COCA). A copy of the standards is available upon the request from the Office of the Dean or at the AOA COCA’s website at:

Students in the osteopathic medicine program who believe that ARCOM may not be in compliance with a standard of accreditation have the right to file a complaint through the following procedure:

  1. A written, dated, and signed complaint must be filed with the Office of Student Affairs.
  2. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs will consult with the Dean and form an ad hoc committee of faculty and students to investigate the complaint.
  3. The results of the investigation will include findings of fact, a determination of standard compliance or non-compliance, and recommended corrective actions. The results will be communicated in writing to the Dean, Office of Student Affairs, and the student complainant.
  4. If corrective action is indicated, the Dean will respond with a description/plan for such action within 30 days of receipt of the ad hoc committee results.
  5. Records of all proceedings regarding complaints will be maintained by the Office of Student Affairs.
  6. In addition, at any time, the student may file a complaint directly to the COCA without fear of retaliation from the institution or the individuals named in the complaint.

AOA Office of Predoctoral Education Commission on Osteopathic College Accreditation American Osteopathic Association

142 East Ontario Street

Chicago, IL 60611-2864

888.626.9262 – Phone

312.202.8202 – Fax