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Veterinary Code of Conduct

Revised October 2010 

The following are intended to function as a set of guidelines for professional behavior and conduct for all students of the College of Veterinary Medicine. Some guidelines are intentionally general in order to allow for a wide interpretation of the actions of veterinary students. As members of a profession, students’ activities are expected to enhance the honor and dignity of the profession, expand their knowledge base and skills, maintain an environment conducive to learning for those around them, and render service to the college and community. These concepts are based upon the Principles of Veterinary Medical Ethics published by the AVMA, as well as the Ohio State University Code of Student Conduct. The "Principles" or "Code" can be used as a supplement or guide for individuals desiring more clarification about appropriate behaviors. 

1. All students should act on the basis of honesty, fairness and treat others as they would expect to be treated themselves. 

2. Students shall maintain an appropriate learning environment at all times and afford instructors the respect of their attention. Students should respect the rights of other students regarding access to learning and learning aids. 

3. Students are expected to present themselves in a professional manner through appropriate dress, hygiene, hairstyle, and jewelry as appearance is a powerful nonverbal form of communication. 

4. Students should strive to continually improve their knowledge and skill, as well as the knowledge and skill of those around them, with the understanding that all students are members of the profession and seeking a common goal. 

5. The College shall safeguard itself from all that is deficient in moral character or professional competence. Students should observe all laws, uphold the honor and dignity of the profession and accept its self-imposed discipline. 

6. Students are expected to be responsible while using CVM facilities, equipment, and supplies. They are expected to report any damage that may have occurred and be responsible for any mess they may create. College facilities are to be used for educational associated activities only unless specific permission has been granted by the College administration. 

7. Students shall seek for themselves and their profession the respect of their classmates, clients, employees of the University, and the public through courteous verbal exchange, considerate treatment, professional appearance, professionally acceptable treatments, and the utilization of current scientific knowledge. 

8. Students shall not interfere with the free exercise of judgment or skill of others and should maintain the highest possible level of veterinary service. 

9. Students should respect the rights of clients, colleagues, faculty and staff. No student shall belittle or injure the professional standing of another individual or condemn the character of that person's professional acts in such a manner as to be false or misleading. 

10. Students are expected to actively engage in communications with faculty, residents, interns, technicians, clients, and other students about cases they are responsible for in such a way as to garner the respect of those they interact with. Avoidance of abusive language is expected. Copying medical records of other students is inappropriate and prevents the development of ones individual skills. 

11. Students shall consider the welfare of the patient first. No student shall willfully neglect or mistreat any patient or laboratory animal in the College of Veterinary Medicine. Decisions regarding animals in their or their classmate's care should transcend personal, professional and academic gain. 

12. All students are expected to actively participate in all educational activities regardless of whether they are immediately involved or not. Students are expected to demonstrate initiative to learn and achieve skills presented to them and participate in rounds, case discussions or other educational opportunities faculty make available to them. 

13. No student shall falsify any medical record, necropsy report, or any other document relating to the treatment, care, health, or disposition of any patient or laboratory animal in the College of Veterinary Medicine. The previously mentioned documents should be treated by students as confidential information. Students must not intentionally or unintentionally make such information available to non-CVM personnel. 

14. Posting material relating to any client, patient, College owned or research animal in any form to any public or social networking site is forbidden. Visual images such as photographs of surgery, rectal examination and necropsy that veterinary students are accustomed to could be upsetting to many in the general public. In addition, these images could be copied and misused by other groups, resulting in permanent harm to veterinary education programs. Students are required to maintain and respect client and patient confidentiality as well as respecting the dignity of all animals and their owners. 

15. No student shall pilfer any item or make unauthorized use of any item, public or private, at the College of Veterinary Medicine, Veterinary Medical Center, or other units of The Ohio State University, for example; drugs, syringes, instruments, microscopes, books, etc. 

16. As future veterinary professionals, students should conduct themselves in a manner, which is consistent with that of licensed veterinary professionals. In particular, students are expected to comply with the standards established in the Ohio Revised Code Chapter 4741 to the extent applicable to veterinary students. 

Suspected violations of the Veterinary Code of Conduct should be submitted using the appropriate form to the Office of Veterinary Student Affairs. The Associate Dean of Student Affairs, the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee, and a Faculty Advisor to the Judiciary Committee will review suspected violations. This group may refer the suspected violation to another committee deemed appropriate by them or may rule on the suspected violation themselves. If a report is deemed a violation of the Code, a mentor will be appointed for the student from a list of available mentors. The responsibility for contacting the mentor lies solely with the student. Failure to contact a mentor or repeated violations of this code will constitute a violation of the Honor Code and be treated accordingly. The intent of the mentoring process is for students to gain instruction and constructive criticism regarding professional behavior, rather than to be punitive.