The mission of the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine is to provide preeminent education and training of future physicians and scientists, to advance knowledge and discovery in the biomedical and health sciences, and to deliver exemplary clinical care in order to improve the health of the citizens of Louisiana and beyond. The School values and respects the multiple facets of diversity reflected in all people and is committed to building a diverse academic community and to assuring that access to education and training is open to learners from all segments of society, acknowledging a special responsibility to the population within Louisiana.
In support of its mission, the goals of the School of Medicine are to:
- Foster and support a vigorous learning environment that includes outstanding academic programs, meaningful clinical experiences, and comprehensive scholar support into a campus culture that promotes student, resident, faculty, and staff engagement and community participation.
- Develop physicians who will:
- become leaders in medical practice, education and research,
- incorporate the highest ethical principles into their life and practice,
- affirm the value of medical research, the role of the physician as educator, and the importance of lifelong learning,
- make altruistic career choices based on personal skills.
- provide the residents of the State of Louisiana with welltrained physicians who deliver excellent, humanistic medical care.
- Develop and foster both clinical and basic health science research in pursuit of new scientific knowledge to meet human needs in Louisiana and beyond.
- Create and present relevant continuing medical education programs for physicians and other healthcare personnel in Louisiana and the surrounding region.
In keeping with its commitment to the citizens of the state of Louisiana, LSUHSC-S School of Medicine selects members of its medical school classes from a pool of predominantly Louisiana residents. Applicants are evaluated on those qualities deemed essential to the profession of medicine, as well as unique potential to contribute to the educational experience at the School of Medicine and to the practice of medicine. The qualities judged essential to the profession and practice of medicine are requisite in all students admitted to the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine. Unique potential represents singular and valued characteristics that an applicant might possess and, while not required, are features that would augment their contribution to the educational experience and diversity of the School of Medicine as well as the profession of medicine. The features deemed essential qualities as well as those seen as unique potential to contribute to the educational experience at the School of Medicine and the profession of medicine will be reviewed by the Dean and appropriate administrative committees on a periodic basis.
I. Essential Qualities
- Academic Excellence - The LSUHSC-S School of Medicine has a rigorous and comprehensive academic curriculum; thus, it is necessary for applicants to show previous ability to perform well in a challenging academic environment. Traditional measures including grade point average and scores on the Medical College Admissions Test are utilized to evaluate this ability as well as other features such as rigor of undergraduate course load and level of difficulty of undergraduate courses taken.
- Competency- The School of Medicine makes every effort to enroll students capable of accumulating the appropriate medical knowledge, developing the basic clinical and technical skills required of all physicians, and exhibiting professional, humane communication skills. The required technical standards for the School of Medicine are delineated in the Student Handbook.
- Dedication to Medicine - During the Admissions process, an applicant’s dedication to a practice in medicine will be carefully evaluated. An applicant’s dedication to medicine may be gleaned from written application material including a personal statement as well as responses to specific interview questions about the applicant’s views of his/her future medical practice, knowledge of current medical issues, and previous healthcare-related experiences.
- Altruism- A willingness to put the needs of others before those of self is a fundamental characteristic necessary in physicians. Evidence of altruism will be sought through review of an applicant’s community service and volunteer activities as well as through focused interview questions about the applicant’s life goals as a physician caring for patients.
- Integrity- Honesty, ethical behavior, and professionalism are personal characteristics of paramount importance in individuals embarking upon the medical education process and the practice of medicine. Evidence of this quality is sought from letters of recommendation and in the interview process. Conversely, dishonesty or unethical behavior in the preparation or submission of the application or in the interview process will discount an applicant from consideration for admission.
- Communication Skills - The ability to communicate clearly, professionally, and in a timely manner is vital for the practice of medicine. The personal statement, letters of recommendation, and interview provide venues by which an applicant’s communication skills can be assessed.
II. Unique Potential to Contribute to Medical School Educational Experience and to the Profession of Medicine
- Louisiana residents from rural or underserved parishes - The LSUHSC-S School of Medicine is committed to recruiting residents of the state for its student body so that it can produce excellent physicians who will, in turn, provide healthcare for the citizens of Louisiana. By recruiting students from parishes underserved in healthcare, the medical school fulfills several of its mission’s goals and provides a double benefit (education and healthcare delivery) to the state of Louisiana.
- Socioeconomically or educationally disadvantaged background - In an effort to enrich the educational environment and train future physicians for state of Louisiana who possess an invaluable perspective on the healthcare needs of underserved communities, it is important to seek students from a broad range of socioeconomic backgrounds.
- Ethnic or racial groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine in Louisiana and the region - As a central part of its effort to fulfill its responsibility to the population within Louisiana and the surrounding region and to further enhance the educational experience for all students, the School of Medicine endeavors to train more medical students from the following ethnic or racial groups traditionally underrepresented in medicine: Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino.
- Women- Although medical school classes across the country have greatly improved the ratio of female to male students over the past two decades, females still represent only about 33% of physicians across the United States. In Louisiana, this number is even lower, at 29% of physicians in the state. As an additional component of its responsibility to the population of the state of Louisiana and to enhance the overall medical education experience, the School of Medicine will continue its effort to train more female physicians.
- Veterans and individuals in current military service - Individuals who serve or have served in the military bring a singular perspective to the practice of medicine, which will enrich the educational experience of their civilian peers. A measurable veteran population exists in north Louisiana, and veterans in medical training or practice can provide healthcare to this population incorporating the perspective of that shared life experience.
- Evidence of leadership and/or teamwork - The ability to effectively lead and collaborate with others in a team or group is a quality necessary in physicians for successful healthcare delivery in today’s world. Evidence of prior leadership (e.g. selection for a class government position, advancement in military rank, athletic team captain, resident advisor/assistant in dormitory, managerial position in employment) or noteworthy collaboration and contribution to a group, organization, committee, or team effort will be considered in the evaluation of this quality.
- Life experiences - Physicians must care for patients from a wide range of racial, ethnic, and cultural backgrounds. Experience with other ethnicities and cultures is a valuable asset in the applicant as it can afford the individual the opportunity to contribute to discussion and interaction with classmates, thus enriching the educational experience for all. Such experiences might include involvement with multicultural organizations, study or work abroad, mastery of a second language, or other unique life experiences.
Faculty and Senior Administrative Staff
As a state and regional leader in medical education, the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine is also committed to advancing diversity and inclusion within the medical profession and within the patient care systems of Louisiana and the region. By training medical students in an educational environment rich in diversity and embracing inclusion, the physician graduates of LSUHSC-S will be well prepared to care for patients from any background as well as to actively address health disparities in society. A diverse faculty and senior administrative staff are achieved through the employment , retention, and advancement of individuals who reflect the rich diversity of the communities served by the medical school. The features in faculty and senior administrative staff that the LSUHSC-S School of Medicine deems unique potential to contribute to the educational experience of students, residents and fellow faculty and provide an enhanced environment of inclusion are the following:
- Ethnic and racial groups traditionally underrepresented in medical school faculty - Faculty members and senior administrative staff drawn from the ethnic and racial categories traditionally underrepresented in medicine will provide all students a valuable educational and work experience from a more diverse group of teachers, mentors, and role models with whom they will eventually become peers and colleagues. LSUHSC-S School of Medicine has identified Black/African American and Hispanic/Latino as underrepresented populations.
- Women- Female physicians and scientists in academic medicine, especially those holding more advanced faculty ranks and senior administrative positions, continue to remain underrepresented in academic medicine. Increasing the number of female faculty and senior administrators will enhance and enlarge the educational and work experience of learners and provide mentors and role models who bring varied perspective.
- Veterans and individuals in military service - LSUHSC-S stands in geographic proximity to three local facilities directly related to the U.S. military: Overton-Brooks VA Medical Center, Barksdale Air Force Base, and Fort Polk. As such, U.S. veterans, a population often having complex medical needs, some of which vary from those of the civilian population, comprise a measureable portion of the patient population in the region. Increasing the number of U.S. veterans as well as active reservists on the faculty and in senior administrative positions provides an additional important facet of diversity, both for patient care and for the educational addition of a unique life experience and perspective.
Compact Between Teachers and Learners of Medicine
Preparation for a career in medicine demands the acquisition of a large fund of knowledge and a host of special skills. It also demands the strengthening of those virtues that undergird the doctor/patient relationship and that sustain the profession of medicine as a moral enterprise. This Compact serves both as a pledge and as a reminder to teachers and learners that their conduct in fulfilling their mutual obligations is the medium through which the profession inculcates its ethical values.
DUTY: Medical educators have a duty, not only to convey the knowledge and skills required for delivering the profession’s contemporary standard of care, but also to inculcate the values and attitudes required for preserving the medical profession’s social contract across generations.
INTEGRITY: The learning environments conducive to conveying professional values must be suffused with integrity. Students learn enduring lessons of professionalism by observing and emulating role models who epitomize authentic professional values and attitudes.
RESPECT: Fundamental to the ethic of medicine is respect for every individual. Mutual respect between learners, as novice members of the medical profession, and their teachers, as experienced and esteemed professionals, is essential for nurturing that ethic. Given the inherently hierarchical nature of the teacher/learner relationship,teachers have a special obligation to ensure that students are always treated respectfully.
Commitments of Faculty
- We pledge our utmost effort to ensure that all components of the educational program for medical students are of high quality.
- As mentors for our students, we maintain high professional standards in all of our interactions with patients, colleagues, and staff.
- We respect all students as individuals, without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation; we will not tolerate anyone who manifests disrespect or who expresses biased attitudes towards any student.
- We pledge that students will have sufficient time to fulfill personal and family obligations, to enjoy recreational activities, and to obtain adequate rest; we monitor and, when necessary, reduce the time required to fulfill educational objectives, including time required for “call” on clinical rotations, to ensure students’ well being.
- In nurturing both the intellectual and the personal development of students, we celebrate expressions of professional attitudes and behaviors, as well as achievement of academic excellence.
- We do not tolerate any abuse or exploitation of students.
- We encourage any student who experiences mistreatment or who witnesses unprofessional behavior to report the facts immediately to appropriate faculty or staff; we treat all such reports as confidential and do not tolerate reprisals or retaliations of any kind.
Commitments of Students
- We pledge our utmost effort to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and behaviors required to fulfill all educational objectives established by the faculty.
- We cherish the professional virtues of honesty, compassion, integrity, fidelity, and dependability.
- We pledge to respect all faculty members, all students, residents and staff as individuals, without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion, or sexual orientation.
- As physicians in training, we embrace the highest standards of the medical profession and pledge to conduct ourselves accordingly in all of our interactions with patients, colleagues, and staff.
- In fulfilling our own obligations as professionals, we pledge to assist our fellow students in meeting their professional obligations, as well.
In addition, LSUHSC-S’s Student Responsibilities and Rights Policy (Chancellor Memorandum 21) ensures equitable procedures for addressing written student complaints. Specific procedures exist for addressing complaints related to grades, dismissal, sexual harassment, general harassment and student-teacher romantic relationships. These policies and procedures are published in this catalog and widely referenced on numerous LSUHSC-S web pages.
Policy on Teacher-Student Consensual Relations
The integrity of the teacher-student relationship is the foundation of the School of Medicine’s educational mission. This relationship vests considerable trust in the teacher, who, in turn, bears authority and accountability as a mentor, educator, and evaluator. The unequal institutional power inherently vested in the faculty heightens the vulnerability of the student and the potential for coercion. The pedagogical relationship between teacher and student must be protected from influences or activities that can interfere with learning and personal development or create a perception of impropriety. Sexual or amorous relationships between teacher and student create the potential for coercion, jeopardize the integrity of the educational process by creating a conflict of interest and may impair the learning environment for other students. Further, such situations may expose the School of Medicine and the teacher to liability for violation of laws against sexual harassment and sex discrimination.
Medical students are particularly vulnerable to the unequal institutional power inherently in the teacher-student relationship and the potential for coercion, because of their age and position in a highstakes, highly competitive educational setting. Therefore, no teacher who has any type of faculty appointment shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any medical student. Likewise, no graduate student, postdoctoral fellow, or physician in a residency or fellowship training programs shall have a sexual or amorous relationship with any medical student they are currently teaching or supervising. In the case in which a teacher has a relationship that predates the entry of the other partner into medical school or residency/post graduate training, the partner who has the role of teacher must not directly supervise, grade or evaluate the partner who has the role of student throughout the period of his/her matriculation.
Teachers or students with questions about this policy are advised to consult with the department chair, the Assistant Dean for Student Affairs, or one of his/her designees. If an alleged violation of this policy cannot be resolved satisfactorily at the departmental level, a student may lodge a complaint with the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs of the School of Medicine or his/her designee. Violations of the above policies by a teacher will normally lead to disciplinary action.
The faculty member’s right of defense and due process shall be as stated in the faculty handbook section 9.3.2 paragraph 2. This section covers all rights including those of appeal to the Dean and Chancellor.
For purposes of this policy, “direct supervision” includes the following activities (on or off campus): course teaching, examining, grading, advising for a formal project such as a thesis or research, supervising required research or other academic activities, serving in such a capacity as course or clerkship director, Department Chairperson or Dean, and recommending in an institutional capacity for admissions, employment, fellowships or awards. “Teachers” includes, but is not limited to, all tenured and non-tenured faculty of the University. It also includes graduate students and postdoctoral fellows, and physicians in residency and fellowship training programs with respect to the students they are currently teaching or supervising. “Students” refers to those enrolled in the curriculum of the School of Medicine. Additionally, this policy applies to members of the LSUHSC-Shreveport community who are not teachers as defined above, but have authority over or mentoring relationships with students, including supervisors of student employees, advisors and directors of student organizations, as well as others who advise, mentor, or evaluate students.