College of Chiropractic Intern’s Clinic Handbook

3.2 Ethical Consideration

For ethical and professional consideration, interns are referred to copies of the MCA Code of Ethics and ACA Code of Ethics.

There is a need to emphasize some specific ethical considerations relative to duty in the clinics:

3.2.1 Maintenance of a Professional Environment

Each intern's behavior with a patient may affect other patients' impressions of the clinic. Even if a student patient is a close friend, behavior with this individual must be appropriate to the doctor-patient relationship.

3.2.2 Confidentiality Patient Privacy

The fact that interns are treating fellow students does not exempt the intern from the obligation of confidentiality regarding all details of the case. In order to have a relationship of trust, respect, and confidence with any patient, this obligation must be strictly observed. Interns must follow the NWHSU Clinic System Compliance Manual in all cases. All interns should familiarize themselves with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations. These are mandatory government regulations regarding patient confidentiality. Discuss HIPAA with your faculty clinician.

3.2.3 Patient's Well-being

It is the obligation of every intern to keep in mind through all phases of case management that the foremost goal is the health of the patient.

3.2.4 Professional Boundaries

Under no circumstances is it appropriate to have a personal relationship with a patient.

3.2.5 Ethical Concerns on Ending an Internship

It is highly inappropriate, unethical, and potentially illegal to do anything that could harm or jeopardize your supervisor’s practice. This would include disparaging the doctor or their practice in any way, attempting to open a practice in the same immediate geographic area, or accessing/stealing confidential patient information (including patient names and addresses) for the purpose of luring away any of the doctor’s patients.

3.2.6 Non-compete Situations

Interns may experience their faculty clinician creating a non-compete clause and asking them to sign it. It is considered appropriate for T10 Preceptorship doctors to request interns to sign a non-compete clause for Clinical Internship 5 (see 15.8). It is considered inappropriate for CBI faculty clinicians to ask or demand students to sign a non-compete clause during the intern’s CBI experience (Clinical Internship 2, 3, 4, & 5). Interns in the CBI program who are asked to sign a non-compete clause are to tell their faculty clinician they cannot sign it and should refer their clinician to Clinical Education.