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Honor Code

As future physicians, the students of The Ohio State University College of Medicine accept the responsibility of maintaining high standards of honor and professional conduct. We believe that this responsibility begins not upon graduation, but at the inception of our medical education. By upholding the following standards in both the professional, academic, and social spheres of our lives, we strive to be a community bound by honesty and trust. We abide by the Honor System of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, herein, divided into the Professional Honor Code and the Academic Honor Code.

Professional Honor Code

We will behave in a manner consistent with the following principles of professionalism as we foster and maintain a culture that facilitates professionalism:


  • Assist other medical students in need
  • Contribute to a positive image of the medical profession
  • Serve the interests and welfare of the patient and the community above our own self-interest


  • Respect the rights of patients, staff, colleagues, and other health professionals
  • Safeguard patient confidences and privacy within the constraints of the law
  • Deal with confidential information appropriately and discreetly
  • Understand the general principles of ethical behavior and their application to performance expectations of any course of study, examination, or other evaluations


  • Treat each patient as an individual with respect, empathy, and dignity both in their family’s presence and in discussions with other members of the health care team
  • Handle issues of sickness, dying, and death in a professional manner with patients and their families
  • Refrain from abusing authority


  • Participate in and contribute to the betterment of the public health community in a productive manner
  • Participate in and contribute to peer groups, local, and/or national organizations


  • Recognize our deficiencies and endeavor to correct them, requesting help when needed
  • Strive to improve ourselves in the integration and transmission of knowledge
  • Collaborate with and assist peers, colleagues, and other health professionals appropriately for the advancement of scientific knowledge and skills
  • Commit to self-directed and life-long learning


  • Treat those with whom we work with respect, trust, and dignity
  • Refrain from engaging in unwanted/inappropriate romantic and sexual behaviors or any other unprofessional behaviors
  • Respect rights such as privacy, confidentiality, informed consent, and others
  • Communicate in a sensitive manner and do not discriminate on the basis of age, gender, intelligence, medical condition, nationality or ethnic origin, physical or mental disability, race, religion, sexual orientation, or socioeconomic status


  • Maintain patient care and service as our highest priority
  • Be accountable for deadlines and complete assignments/responsibilities in a timely fashion
  • Recognize and report peers’ errors, fraud, poor behavior, deficiency in character, and incompetence
  • Identify our own limitations and developmental needs and seek approaches for improvement
  • Present ourselves in a professional manner with respect to dress, hygiene, body language, composure, and gestures

Academic Honor Code

We will uphold the above-stated principles of the Professional Code. In addition, we will demonstrate academic honesty and refrain from dishonorable actions that include, but are not limited to:

  • Cheating: Allowing another party to do one’s work/exam; serving as a substitute for a student in the taking of an exam; possession and/or use of unauthorized study aids/notes during an exam; practicing fraud or deceit; knowingly providing or receiving information during examinations with or without the source’s knowledge; sharing information about the content of an exam with a student who has not yet taken the exam.

  • Plagiarism: Representing another's work as one's own including the unacknowledged word-for-word use and/or paraphrasing of another person's work and/or the inappropriate unacknowledged use of another person's ideas.

  • Fabrication: Altering a graded work; falsification of information and resources, including laboratory and research results. 

  • Aid of Academic Dishonesty: Intentional facilitation of the above dishonorable actions or any other action deemed in violation of this code.