The role of academic psychiatry faculty in the treatment and subsequent evaluation and promotion of medical students: An ethical conundrum

Michael G. Kavan, Paula Jo Malin, Daniel R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debate

9 Scopus citations


Objectives: This article explores ethical and practical issues associated with the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) provision that states health professionals who provide psychiatric/psychological care to medical students must have no involvement in the academic evaluation or promotion of students receiving those services. Method: The authors address the pros and cons of this provision as they relate to the overall well-being of the student. Results: Arguments in support of this provision include students' desire for confidentiality, avoidance of dual-relationships, and fear of documentation in the academic record. Arguments against this provision include the elimination of student autonomy to select a psychiatrist, the suitability and accessibility of academic psychiatrists to treat students, and the delimiting nature of this standard. Conclusion: In general, the LCME provision eliminates potential barriers to the mental health treatment of medical students. However, research and debate on its impact and appropriateness on a case-by-case basis should continue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-7
Number of pages5
JournalAcademic Psychiatry
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2008


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Education

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