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About the Professionalism Committee

In 2002, UTMB was one of five medical schools selected to participate in a medical professionalism pilot project sponsored by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) Foundation's. The goal of the project, entitled Putting the Charter Into Practice, is for participating institutions to apply the principles and responsibilities of the Physician Charter that was published by the ABIM in 2002 to its medical school student body.

The Professionalism Committee was established to develop a multidisciplinary approach to advancing professionalism, recognizing that a fundamental concern for a supportive and productive environment that advances educational, patient and institutional outcomes is our prime objective.   Committee membership includes individuals from across the mission areas and workforce segments (e.g. academic and health system administration, physicians, nurses, faculty and students from all four UTMB schools). The broad representation ensures that efforts will address and impact all areas of our community. Members are appointed by the President and have demonstrated a commitment to professionalism and to act as effective change agents. The committee's major activities include: ensuring that the Professionalism Charter is relevant to UTMB, managing the Professionalism online reporting tool, facilitating campus wide workshops and training to promote Professionalism, and hosting a biennial Professionalism Summit.

If you would like more information you may contact a member of the committee.  

 The Professionalism Committee

2017 Committee Members

Members of the 2016 - 2017 Professionalism Committee include:

  • Nisha Azhar, Student Representative, School of Medicine, Honor Pledge Committee
  • Barbara A. Bonificio, MS, RN-BC, Director of Nursing Excellence, Nursing Administration
  • Tonya R. Callender, FNP, Student Representative, School of Nursing
  • Tilly Clark, Assistant Director, Special Use Facilities
  • Carolyn Coyle, Student Representative, School of Medicine
  • Ruth Leah Finkelstein, OSM Project Manager, Office of the President-Operations
  • Dr. Mark Holden, Co-chair, Edna S. and William C. Levin Professor in Internal Medicine; Director, Division of General Internal Medicine; Vice Chair for Undergraduate and Continuing Medical Education, Department of Internal Medicine; Emeritus Scholar, John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine
  • Henry Joaquin, Student Representative, School of Nursing
  • Sheryl Lashway, Administrative Coordinator, Office of the President - Administrative Support
  • Priscilla Ly, Student Representative, School of Medicine
  • Dr. Charles Mathers, Assistant Professor, General Internal Medicine
  • Dr. Ronald McKinley, Vice President, Human Resources and Employee Services
  • Madiha Merchant, Student Representative, School of Health Professions
  • Dr. Joan Nichols, Student Affairs Dean, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences
  • Dorothy Pearrow, Director of Student Affairs and Admissions, School of Nursing
  • Dr. Jeffrey Rabek, Associate Dean, Student Affairs, School of Medicine
  • Sara Richards, Student Representative, School of Health Professions
  • Dr. Rebecca Saavedra, Co-chair, Vice President for Strategic Management, Office of the President - Operations
  • Marlene Salas-Provance, PhD, MHA, CCC-SLP, FASHA, Associate Dean, School of Health Professions
  • Jose H. Salazar, Assistant Professor, Clinical Laboratory Sciences, School of Health Professions
  • Shelley Smith, Assistant Professor, Interprofessional Education
  • Dr. Karen Szauter, Professor, Department of Medicine; Office of Clinical Simulation
  • Stephanie Vega, Student Representative, Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences

Other Professionalism Groups:

The Honor Education Council (HEC) is a School of Medicine
student-run organization formed in 1990. Its mission is to educate medical students and faculty on issues pertaining to the ethical behavior of physicians and to help students develop an ethical decision-making process within a spirit of honor.
  • Composed of three students from each of the four classes in the Medical School, the council promotes honor and integrity within the profession from the onset of a student's medical career.  Roles last until the student graduates.  Each year, seniors roll off and freshmen are added. 

    HEC members include:

    • Class of 2019:Likhitha Aidunuthula, Stephanie Ibrahim, Chi-Tam Nguyen
    • Class of 2018:Murtaza M. Mandviwala, Louizza M. Martinez, Eduardo A. Rodriguez
    • Class of 2017: Felippe O. Marcondes, Kimberly M. Mendoza, Justin Noroozian

    HEC Activities:

    • Co-sponsors and organizes annual School of Medicine White Coat Ceremony.
    • Works with ethics courses faculty and clinical faculty to facilitate use the Medical Student's Statement of Principles as a guiding document for discussion and reflection.
    • Investigates academic dishonesty cases and formulates strategies to reduce academic dishonesty incidence rates
Honor Pledge Committee
The Honor Pledge Committee was coordinated in 2002 and included students, Associate Deans and the Associate Vice President for Student Services.  For a second year, the Student Honor Pledge Committee hosted a panel discussion with representatives from each school. On the panel were Steve Fisher (SHP), Mark Holden (SOM), Joan Nichols (GSBS), and Karen Szauter, (SOM). Panelists were asked to discuss such topics as: behaviors that students exhibit that inhibit professionalism, how to respond to team members when opinions differ, how to deal with abrasive co-workers and remain professional