Professionalism Feedback Forms (PFFs) Policy

Authorizing Body: Student Performance Review Committee
Author: Angela Nuzzarello, M.D.
Date Issued: August 1, 2011
Last Update: July 28, 2015

One of the responsibilities of the School of Medicine is ensuring the professional education of all of its students. When behavior falls distinctly above or below expectations of professional conduct, faculty and senior staff (or junior staff in conjunction with them) should submit PFFs. These forms can be used to highlight exemplary behavior and growth of a student or provide feedback as early as possible, for areas in which the student need to improve. It is particularly important to formally address and document these issues because it creates a record that allows Student Affairs to detect patterns of either exemplary or problematic behavior that might otherwise be perceived as an isolated incident by individual faculty or staff.

Scope and Applicability:
All students enrolled in the School of Medicine

Standard Practice Guideline:
Providing feedback on professional behavior is an essential part of medical education. While a student is enrolled in the School of Medicine, all faculty or senior staff (Associate/Assistant Deans and Directors) who observe unprofessional conduct of a medical student or who wish to acknowledge exemplary professional behavior of a medical student, should complete a Professionalism Feedback Form (PFF; (either an Acknowledgement of Exemplary Behavior PFF or Notice of Unprofessional Behavior PFF). Junior staff, including residents, course and clerkship coordinators, etc., who encounter either exemplary or unprofessional behavior should consult with an appropriate course, clerkship director, Associate Dean, etc. but also can co-sign PFFs and are encouraged to provide direct feedback to students in conjunction with the appropriate faculty or senior staff member. Faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to meet with and provide direct feedback to students regarding their professional conduct. The Faculty Advisor for Professionalism will read and monitor these forms, will notify students receiving PFFs for exemplary behavior, and will meet with students who receive PFFs for unprofessional behavior to provide guidance and mentorship.


  • Student Notification: The author of the PFF is strongly encouraged to meet with the student to discuss the behavior of concern and to notify the student that a PFF will be submitted to the Faculty Advisor for Professionalism. The Faculty Advisor for Professionalism will notify and meet with the student to discuss the issue addressed in the unfavorable PFF.
  • The Faculty Advisor for Professionalism may choose not to take any further action after meeting with the student, or may refer the issue to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs for possible referral to the Student Performance Review Committee (SPRC) based on the severity of the issue, multiple issues, or the chronicity of the issue. The Faculty Advisor on Professionalism will keep PFFs separate from students’ files unless otherwise directed by the SPRC. Generally, a student will be referred to SPRC if he or she receives three of more PFFs or for particularly serious concerns (SPRC may only discuss the student; the student may or may not be requested to appear in person).