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Learning Environment & Mistreatment

Have you been Mistreated or Have You Witnessed Mistreatment?

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Learner mistreatment

Learner mistreatment is disrespectful or unprofessional behaviour directed at a learner or a group of Learners that negatively affects the Learner or the learning environment.

Mistreatment is any conduct contrary to the principles that support a respectful and inclusive environment and can be intentional or unintentional. Mistreatment can be an act of commission (e.g., physical assault) or an act of omission (e.g., not offering or denying an opportunity).

Examples of mistreatment include, but are not limited to:

  • discrimination or harassment based on race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, health, or disability status;
  • bullying, humiliation, psychological or physical punishment;
  • making demeaning, offensive, belittling, or disrespectful comments;
  • the use of grading and other forms of assessment in a punitive manner
  • retaliation or threats of retaliation against any Learner who reports mistreatment in good faith.

Mistreatment can be carried out by physicians in academic teaching or supervisory roles, other physicians, allied health professionals, administrators, other Learners, patients, families, and/or any others present in environments where Learners are situated.

Learners can report mistreatment by anyone they believe has mistreated them in any training or learning environment associated with their program or training. This includes any site where a McMaster Learner/Trainee is training or learning, not just McMaster-affiliated sites. Any action resulting from mistreatment reports may need to involve partner hospitals, clinical settings in the community, or potentially other universities. McMaster University is committed to encouraging and fostering safe learning and training environments for all Learner/Learners/Trainees and relies on the involvement of hospital and community partners to uphold this commitment.

For more information

Please visit the Student Mistreatment page on MedPortal