Whenever the professional activities, conduct, or demeanor of a fellow interfere with the discharge of assigned duties or those of other university or affiliated institution employees, or jeopardize the well-being of patients, the university, through its administration, reserves the right to correct the situation through disciplinary action as it sees fit.
The Procedural Rights Process detailed in the fellowship agreement is available to all fellows who wish to appeal certain disciplinary actions, which significantly threaten the fellow’s career development. The following is an overview of the process; the agreement document will rule in case of discrepancy with the overview provided here.
1. Causes for Corrective Action
The following list provides examples of fellow actions that can be grounds for discipline. It is not intended to be inclusive of all reasons for disciplinary action. The Program Director’s action will depend on the severity of the infraction, prior warnings, and efforts on the part of the fellow to correct his or her behavior. In all cases the basis for the decision will be in the Program Director’s best judgment.
a. Behavior that threatens the well being of patients, medical staff, employees, or the general public.
b. Other substantial or repetitive conduct which is considered by the fellow’s supervisor to be professionally or ethically unacceptable or which is disruptive to the normal and orderly functioning of the institution to which the fellow is assigned.
c. Failure to conform to the letter of the fellow agreement, or to policies and procedures of The University of Illinois, The College of Medicine, or the fellow’s program.
d. Failure to comply with the federal, state and local laws whether or not related to the medical profession.
e. Failure to provide patient care of satisfactory quality expected for the fellow’s training level.
f. Fraud by commission or omission in application for the fellowship position, or in completing other official University documents.
g. Suspension, revocation, or any other inactivation, voluntary or not, of a fellow’s license by the State of Illinois for any reason.
h. Continued or lengthy absence from duty assignments without reasonable excuse.
i. Failure to perform the normal and customary services of a fellow as defined in the ACGME ΑGeneral Requirements, General Competencies and under the Overall Program Goals, Objectives and Curriculum Section of this document.
j. Sexual harassment or abuse of patients or other university employees.
2. Disciplinary Actions
Fellows may be subject to the following actions taken by the Program Director or by the Dean, College of Medicine, or his designee. Discipline may be progressive, in that it follows the order of the actions listed below. However, if the fellow’s behavior, in the judgment of the Program Director, fellow’s supervisor or University Administration, warrants removing the fellow from normal duties, suspension or dismissal may be imposed without prior warning.
a. Written Warning
The Program Director may issue a letter to a fellow in response to behavior or performance problem. The letter will detail the situation, the remedy required by the fellow, and the consequences of not correcting the problem. A copy of the letter will be placed in the Program Director's file.
Definition: Probation is a disciplinary condition in which the Program Director notifies a fellow in writing of specific deficiencies that must be corrected in a stated period of time or the fellow will not be allowed to continue in the program or will be continued on a probationary status. The Fellow receives credit for training time and salary and benefits remain in force during probation.
Procedure: The Program Director schedules a meeting with the fellow to discuss the reasons for probation, the actions required by the fellow, and the dates of probation. The Program Director will provide the fellow with a letter detailing the above points, either at the meeting or within a reasonable time following the meeting. Copies of this letter will be placed in the fellow’s department file and the GME office file.
At the end of the probationary period, the Program Director meets again with the fellow. Depending on the fellow’s performance, the results may be:
a. Removed from probation,
b. Given an additional period of probation, or
c. Entered into the termination process.
Definition: Suspension is a corrective action that removes the fellow from any Program duties. The fellow does not receive credit for training time nor is he or she paid for the time on suspension. A continuing non-corrected suspension will lead to the initiation of the dismissal process.
Procedure: The Program Director may initiate suspension under conditions in which the fellow’s behavior or competence threatens patient, staff, or employee well being, for flagrant or continued disregard for University, College of Medicine, or program rules and regulations, or where suspension is the next step in a progressive disciplinary action.
A fellow may be suspended Αpending investigation≅ in cases where the Program Director believes that removing the fellow from duty is in the best interests of the University, but lacks detail of the problem. A fellow suspended pending investigation cannot work, but will continue to be paid until the matter is resolved. Depending on the Program Director’s findings, the fellow may be restored to full duty, have pay reduced in relation to suspension time already served, or be terminated.
The Program Director will provide a letter to the fellow detailing the reasons for suspension, its length, and the remedy necessary to remove the suspension. The letter may also indicate under what circumstances the fellow may be terminated if the situation is not corrected. Copies of the letter will be filed in the fellow’s department and Graduate Medical Education office files.
Suspension will be removed when the initiating reason has been corrected to the satisfaction of the Program Director.
Definition: Dismissal means termination from University employment and participation in the training program even though the fellow holds a current Fellow Agreement.
Procedure: The Program Director will provide a letter to the fellow detailing the reasons for dismissal, with an effective date. Copies of the letter will be filed in the fellow’s department and GME office files.
A dismissed fellow must complete the sign-out process in order to receive his or her final paycheck.
1) The following disciplinary actions can be appealed, except where they are taken due to circumstances listed in the next section:
•Non-renewal of contract.
2) Actions that are not covered by the appeal process include:
•Suspension due to loss of medical license
•Reduction of clinical privileges or requirement of faculty supervision when stipulated by the Program Director or designee
•Suspension or removal of clinical privileges due to failure to complete medical records according to institutional standards
•Delay or refusal by Program Director to certify clinical competence for specialty board certification
3) Actions taken in relation to a fellow’s academic performance in the program.
Procedure: The appeals process has three steps and must be made in the order listed:
a) Appeal to Departmental Committee, b) Appeal to Associate Dean for GME, and c) Appeal to Dean of the College of Medicine.
a) Appeal to Departmental Committee
A fellow who is the subject of a disciplinary procedure may request a Departmental hearing. The request must be submitted in writing to the Department Head within 14 days of the fellow receiving notification of the discipline.
The hearing will take place before a committee that consists of at least three faculty members from the fellow’s department; the committee membership cannot include the Department Head or Program Director. The hearing will take place no later than 10 days following receipt of the fellow’s request.
The fellow and the Program Director or Department Head will make presentations to the committee members. No one else may be present at the hearing.
The committee will make its decision based on majority vote and the Department Head will be bound by the decision. The fellow will receive a written copy of the decision no later than 10 days following the hearing.
b) Appeal to the Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education
The fellow may appeal the committee decision to the Associate Dean for GME, in writing, no later than 10 days following receipt of the committee decision. The Associate Dean will render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the fellow’s appeal.
c) Appeal to the Dean of the College of Medicine
The fellow may appeal the Associate Dean for GME’s decision to the Dean of the College of Medicine, in writing, no later than 10 days following the receipt of the Associate Dean’s decision. The Dean will render a decision within 30 days of receipt of the fellow’s appeal, which will be final.