Principles of the Learning Environment

Principles of the Learning Environment at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University

The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University (AMS) is an educational community composed of students, residents, fellows, faculty, other healthcare professionals and staff who aim to support all medical students in achieving their fullest potential while providing quality patient care.  The principle of our educational community is the promotion of a positive learning environment through respectful education of all community members, recognizing that an appreciation for diversity is an essential component of medical education.

To promote this goal, AMS upholds the expectation that medical students will be treated appropriately and with dignity.  Respect is to be demonstrated toward all students, regardless of race, ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, or religion.  Under no circumstances will AMS consider it acceptable practice for faculty or staff to demonstrate bias, prejudice, exclusion, or other unprofessional behavior* such as humiliation towards our students. A respectful learning environment also includes the use of appropriate language, through attention to cultural sensitivity (i.e. referring to students by their preferred pronouns; using respectful terminology when referring to race or other identifying characteristics of a particular group of people).  Students are held to the same professional standards (see student handbook) of respect towards all colleagues, faculty, and staff in the learning environment.

We recognize that some behaviors that are not congruent with this principle may be unintentional, and we strive to create an environment in which those and other concerns will be addressed and corrected in a thoughtful manner.

Given our shared values for optimal learning and quality patient care, the AMS Principles support all members of our community in achieving their goals as excellent learners, teachers, and medical professionals. AMS will continue to promote a positive learning environment through ongoing discussions with members of the educational community and oversight of its system for reporting concerns about our learning environment.

*Such unacceptable behavior includes the creation of a concern of “retaliation” for the filing of a complaint about mistreatment.


Through these principles on the learning environment at AMS, we affirm our commitment to shaping a culture of teaching and learning that is rooted in respect for all. The Learning Environment procedures will outline the steps by which mistreatment or other concerns with the learning environment are handled in our institution.

Students, faculty, and staff at AMS also adhere to the Brown University Code of Conduct, which includes Brown University’s Statement of Non-Discrimination:  Brown University does not discriminate on the basis of sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, national or ethnic origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or any other category protected by applicable law, in the administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, or other school-administered programs. The University is committed to honest, open and equitable engagement with racial, religious, gender, ethnic, sexual orientation and other differences. The University seeks to promote an environment that in its diversity is integral to the academic, educational and community purposes of the institution.