Student Affairs Resource Website

Learning Environment Reporting Process

If a student’s safety or another individual’s safety is at risk (physical or sexual assault, impaired physician, or any egregious situation), first call 9-1-1, visit the emergency room or take other actions appropriate to the situation. Then, once safe, contact Dr. Gerald Tolbert, Assistant Dean for Student Support, Student Affairs, at 619-549-2465 or via email (

Four reporting options

Students who wish to report mistreatment or a serious concern that doesn’t require immediate response are encouraged to do any or all of the following:

  1. Report directly to Melinda Frank, Director of the Learning Environment. Melinda is the point person for any student with a concern about their learning environment or about any mistreatment experienced or witnessed. All UWSOM students, regardless of their year in the curriculum and regardless of where they are physically located, may contact the Director of the Learning Environment at any time. Melinda can be reached by email at or by phone at 206.616.1816. Students may make an appointment to meet with her in person, by phone, or via Zoom directly or using this tool. Her office is located in T-559 of the Health Sciences Building (Seattle campus).
  2. Report via the Learning Environment Reporting Tool (aLERT) button. You will be able to provide a description of your concern and indicate your follow-up preference and how you would like your feedback shared. You will have the option of reporting completely anonymously and indicating how you want your identity and the identity of anyone else involved in the situation to be shared.
  3. Report in any UWSOM evaluation. Students in the Foundations phase can detail concerns on the End-of-Block surveys or on the Foundations Phase survey. Students in the Clinical phase can detail concerns in Medical Student of Educator evaluations, Patient Care Phase survey, or Explore & Focus phase survey.
  4. Report to any UWSOM dean. All deans can receive reports including Foundations deans and Clinical deans.

What happens with the feedback I submit?

We take your feedback very seriously and will take appropriate steps to address your concerns. The Director of the Learning Environment will be the person who receives submissions and will handle each submission with the utmost confidentiality, ensuring that your identity is safeguarded throughout the entire response process. Each student will have the opportunity to discuss their concern with the Learning Environment Director further if desired. The concern is reviewed with a small group of deans from Curriculum and Student Affairs, and a determination is made about appropriate follow-up with the individual(s) named. Interventions could include feedback about the behavior, remediation, or removal from teaching. All interventions are tracked.

Could giving feedback negatively affect my grade?

No. Reports made using one of the four methods outlined above are not shared with anyone until your grade has been finalized. The only exception to this is if we believe you or another individual is in imminent danger, and if this is the case, we will contact you before proceeding.

Other avenues to report mistreatment

Students can always speak directly with block leads, clerkship directors, etc when appropriate. Note that this is outside the formal reporting process outlined above, thus certain protections may not be fully in place. Students might also wish to make a formal report to an entity that is external to the School of Medicine have several options. Click here to learn more about these resources.

Other people to talk to about concerns

Students may choose to discuss their concerns with any of the following people to determine their most appropriate course of action: College mentors, counselors, staff members, honor council members, Office of Healthcare Equity, or to the UW Office of the Ombud. Note that while these resources can assist students in choosing a course of action, talking with them is not equivalent to filing a report.

What are the protections for me against retaliation?

Students of the University of Washington who file a report are always protected under UW Executive Order No. 31, regardless of where they might be geographically in the 5-state WWAMI region. This order:

“Prohibits discrimination or harassment against a member of the University community because of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, citizenship, sex, pregnancy, age, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, disability, or veteran status…[and also] Prohibits retaliation against any individual who reports concerns regarding discrimination or harassment, or who cooperates with or participates in any investigation of allegations of discrimination, harassment, or retaliation under this policy, or any individual who is perceived to have engaged in any of these actions.”