Internal Medicine Housestaff Complaint
and Grievance Procedures

Situations may arise in which a resident believes he/she has not received fair treatment by a member of the faculty or staff of the Medical Center, or a representative of the University; or has a complaint about the performance, action or inaction of a member of the staff or faculty. Medicine residents are encouraged to discuss their concerns openly with their program director, associate program director, or categorical program directors as they deem most appropriate. Retaliation against a resident for submitting a dispute through the complaint/grievance procedures will not be tolerated and will result in appropriate disciplinary actions. The policy for medicine residents is as it is for all Vanderbilt housestaff below:

The procedure for: harassment/discrimination/retaliation: If the complaint involves allegations of sexual harassment and/or perceived unlawful discrimination or retaliation, refer to the sections in this House Staff Manual (Section I.G on Equal Employment and Affirmative Action).

The procedure: for other complaints: The House Officer should be directed as soon as possible to the person(s) whose actions or inactions have given rise to the complaint and not later than ninety (90) days after the event. If the person(s) involved is not the department chair or program director, the resident should consult with his/her program director and/or department chair to seek their assistance in the resolution of the issue. Every effort should be made to resolve the problem fairly and promptly at this level.
 
Complaints not resolved at this level within 30 days should be referred to the attention of the Associate Dean for GME within two weeks following the failure to resolve the issue at the department level. The Associate Dean for GME will seek to resolve the issue and may at his/her discretion seek advice from other members of the faculty, house staff, or staff as deemed appropriate.

After such evaluation and/or consultation the Associate Dean for GME will make a decision.
 
If the resident disagrees with the decision of the Associate Dean for GME, he/she must, within 14 days after receipt of the Director of GME's decision, notify in writing, the Director of GME, who will then direct the chair of the GMEC to convene the Review Committee (as defined in IV.C.2.g) to address the appeal. The Review Committee will meet within 14 days after receipt of the written appeal. Any member of the Review Committee (faculty or house staff) who has a potential conflict of interest, as determined by the Chair of the Review Committee will not be permitted to vote. Likewise, if there is a potential conflict of interest between the chair and the appealing resident, the Review Committee will elect a temporary chair of the Review Committee for the purpose of the review. Neither party will have legal counsel present during the Review Committee's deliberations. The Review Committee will make a recommendation to the Dean of the Medical School, who will then make the final decision.