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Position Statements

The Medical Supervisor-Trainee Relationship

 Categories:  Clinical Practice   Adopted: Apr 2004  | Amended: Jul 2021  Print Friendly Version  |   Share this item

It is the position of the Board that the relationship between medical supervisors and their trainees in medical schools and other medical training programs is one of the most valuable aspects of medical education. The Board notes, however, that this relationship involves inherent inequalities in status and power that, if abused, may adversely affect the educational experience and, ultimately, patient care. Abusive behavior in the medical supervisor-trainee relationship, not limited to physical or verbal harassment, sexual harassment, or other forms of intimidation are considered unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by the Board. However, constructive criticism and/or negative feedback that is offered with the aim of improving the educational experience and patient care should not be construed as abusive behavior.