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Early Concern Note

In addition to speaking to the student and the course/clerkship director, you also have a third opportunity to note your concern. We want you to be aware of the Early Concern Note, an optional, but recommended step for any faculty with a concern about unprofessional behavior of a medical student.

Because students move from rotation to rotation, it might be easy for problematic behaviors or attitudes to go unnoticed or unrecorded, with the assumption that "she was having a bad day" or "we just did not seem to connect well with each other". However, if each concern were noted, over time, a pattern of concerns might help to identify truly unprofessional behavior, the kind of behaviors that affect the welfare of patients, and/or the success of the individual within the profession of medicine, and/or the integrity of the profession itself.

How should we decide whether to submit an Early Concern Note instead of, or in addition to, the notation on the course/clerkship evaluation form?

  • Maybe you decide that the behavior of concern was not of severity to affect the student's grade, but you want to alert someone about something you observed.
  • Maybe the behavior of concern did indeed affect the overall evaluation, but you wonder if your concerns will go unnoticed in the midst of the other 200+ evaluations submitted this rotation.

Remember, it is through a pattern of minor concerns that a truly significant concern might be recognized.

The Early Concern Note is not necessarily an indictment of unprofessionalism, but does allow you to express your concern. It provides the UTMB education administrators information about possible concerns. The education deans will pay attention to any concern and will spend time with the student to find out if the student needs some kind of support.

Early Concern Notes are submitted to the course or clerkship director.

Link here for a copy of the
UTMB Early Concern Note