Professional Behaviors for MD Students in the Gateway Curriculum

—This information applies to Gateway Curriculum students.—

Professional behaviors consist of fundamentally important qualities including altruism, compassion and empathy, respect for patients and health care workers, commitment to ongoing excellence, honesty, trustworthiness, integrity, accountability, recognition of limits, collaboration, and duty to society.

The WUSM Educational Program Objectives related to professional behaviors include the following:

Interpersonal and Communication Skills

  1. Demonstrate respectful and effective verbal and nonverbal interpersonal and communication skills with patients, families, colleagues, and all members of the educational and health care teams.


  1. Maintain a professionally appropriate demeanor.
  2. Exhibit high standards of professional integrity.
  3. Apply legal and ethical principles governing the physician–patient relationship.
  4. Act in the patient’s best interest, and serve as a patient advocate.

Specific professional behaviors include the following:

  • Respectful and inclusive verbal and nonverbal communication and interactions
  • Demonstrating respect and inclusion for all members of the educational and health care teams
  • Resolving conflicts in a manner that maintains professional composure and respects the dignity of every person involved
  • Maintaining professional manner in language, deportment, and appearance
  • Respecting the confidentiality of others
  • Establishing and maintaining appropriate boundaries in educational and work situations
  • Professional use of social media
  • Maintaining accountability by being punctual, meeting deadlines, and providing appropriate notification of absences
  • Acceptance of feedback
  • Recognition of limitations and willingness to seek help
  • Adaptability to change
  • Balancing the needs of others with personal needs
  • Maintaining honesty and integrity
  • Submitting personally performed and/or original work

The Professional Behavior Form may be completed by students, staff, or faculty to highlight specific strengths or areas in which a student may need further support to successfully demonstrate competency in professional behaviors. Reported areas for further support will be reviewed by the Student Success Team to determine the appropriate next steps.

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