Office for a Respectful Learning Environment

George Blackall, PsyD

Welcome to the Office for a Respectful Learning Environment.

Our mission is to foster an educational community at Penn State College of Medicine in which all learners and educators feel supported, challenged, valued, and respected. This is a community endeavor; everyone can help, and anyone can hurt.

The LCME mandates “that the learning environment of its educational programs is conducive to the ongoing development of explicit and appropriate professional behaviors in its [learners], faculty, and staff at all locations and is one in which all individuals are treated with respect” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School). Our goal is to exceed that mandate.

This office serves all learners at Penn State College of Medicine: medical students, graduate students, PA students, residents and fellows.

Contact Us

With questions, contact Director Dr. George Blackall at 717-531-6148 or gblackall@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.

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Answers to Your Questions about Respectful Treatment

What is C.O.R.E.? Expand answer

C.O.R.E. stands for Culture of Respect in Education. It is the main institutional policy that sets the stage for a respectful learning environment in our College of Medicine. It covers a wide range of behaviors.

Learn more about the C.O.R.E. policy here.

How Do I Report Events of Student Mistreatment? Expand answer

There are five ways to report mistreatment events.

  1. Course Evaluations: On the end-of-course evaluations, there are questions about whether you have experienced mistreatment or if you have witnessed others being mistreated.
  2. Clerkship Evaluations: On the end-of-clerkship evaluations, there are questions about whether you have experienced mistreatment or if you have witnessed others being mistreated.
  3. SIMBA: In SIMBA, under the Student Resources tab, there is a link for the Mistreatment Reporting Form.
  4. This Website: The Office for a Respectful Learning Environment’s section of the Current Students website links to the Mistreatment Reporting Form.
  5. Contact George Blackall: Dr. Blackall can be contacted at gblackall@pennstatehealth.psu.edu or at 717-531-6148. He will set up a time to discuss your concern and then decide how best to proceed. Any discussions Dr. Blackall has with students are confidential within the limits of the law.
Is There A Preferred Method for Reporting Different Types of Mistreatment? Expand answer

You can report mistreatment through any of the options listed above. Our goal has been to make it as easy as possible for students to report mistreatment and that is why we have provided different options.

That said, it is obvious that if you have a concern with a specific course, reporting that concern on the course evaluation might be easiest. However, sometimes students have an issue with a sense of urgency and do not want to wait until the end of the course or clerkship to report mistreatment.

Using SIMBA, this website, or contacting Dr. Blackall are always options.

Where Do These Reports Go? Expand answer

All reports that are submitted go directly to Dr. George Blackall. Based on the content of the report, Dr. Blackall either takes action directly or sends it to someone with expertise in the problematic area (i.e. Kim Yoder for Title IX issues or Lynette Chappell-Williams for diversity and inclusion issues). If you decide to submit a report, you always have the option of remaining anonymous.