Honor Code Committee and Procedure

Our Honor Code Committee is an important part of the medical education experience for our students. It consists of students from each class year. Following is more information about who's who on our committee and answers to frequently asked questions about Honor Code Procedure.

Student Honor Code Committee: Academic Year 2022-2023

Class of 2024 Co-Chairs

  • Emily Gordon
  • Jeremy Tervo

Class of 2025 Representatives

  • Thomas Heisler
  • Benjamin Lynch
  • Mitchell Yeary

Class of 2026 Representatives

  • Stephanie Chan
  • Pushkar Shinde

FAQs: Honor Code Committee and Procedure

What is an Honor Code?

A code of professional conduct committing ourselves to act professionally and ethically in all our interactions.

Why is the Honor Code important?

Together, our roles are transitioning from students to professionals in an all-encompassing academic setting. This unique situation requires training and awareness of new responsibilities to ourselves and to the profession. In the intense medical school setting, the perceived need for self-promotion may unintentionally lead to unprofessional behavior that disrupts a collaborative learning environment and can be harmful to peers. We are becoming representatives of the medical profession, the foundation of which is service and integrity. We must be cognizant of how our actions may misrepresent our profession and commit to acting professionally.

What is the Honor Code Committee?

It is a group of students that serves to promote and educate the student body about Honor Code principles, advise students with questions and/or challenging situations involving Honor Code principles, foster supportive collegiality among students, and offer a means of safe reporting for violations.

Who is on the Honor Code Committee?

The committee consists of a minimum of 12 medical students with three representatives from each of the four class years. The three co-Chairs are the fourth-year students. Every year, the first-year representatives are selected by the senior committee members and approved by the senior associate dean for student affairs for a four-year term.

How do I use the Honor Code Committee?

The committee works to provide guidance to students with concerns related to academic or interpersonal professionalism. Medical students can consult the committee with concerns about behavior that is not aligned with the principles of the Honor Code.

Honor Consults:
Honor code consults are useful for many different situations, including for students who:

  1. Are unsure if a particular behavior or activity violates the Honor Code.
  2. Require help addressing challenging situations involving Honor Code principles.
  3. Are unsure if a particular potential violation should be reported.

Students with any questions or concerns are encouraged to consult the Honor Code Committee for guidance and direction. The committee helps to determine if something should be reported or addressed through other means (please see below),and works to prevent similar issues from arising in the future.

Honor Code consults sent to the email pshonorcode@cumc.columbia.edu are only seen by the co-Chairs and otherwise remain confidential. Students are also encouraged to informally consult their class representatives on the committee about potential concerns..

Occasionally, student concerns may be better addressed by reporting to confidential university administrative services, including:

  1. Confidential faculty advisors including Advisory Dean or FCM preceptor
  2. Ombuds officer
  3. Center for Student Wellness director/associate director.
  4. Addiction information and management strategies (AIMS) director

What happens after I report the violation?

Please see flow chart (linked here) for the Honor Code consult process.

What are some examples of situation that could be addressed by an Honor Code consult?

Pre-clinical, academic professionalism:

Concern that a roommate is using materials to cheat on an exam taken remotely

Pre-clinical, interpersonal professionalism:

In an anatomy group, one group member is "hogging" the dissection and answering questions before giving others a chance on the practicals. Another group member has missed dissecting sessions and rarely contributes during practicals.

Clinical, academic professionalism:

Student uses copy-forward to write notes

Clinical, interpersonal professionalism:

On their surgery rotation, one student neglects to inform another student about the time and location of a surgical case

Please click here for full descriptions of these examples.