Students with Blood-Borne Diseases

University of Minnesota Medical School Guidelines for Medical Students and Residents with Blood-Borne Diseases

This guideline relates to medical students and residents who are infected with one or more of the following blood-borne diseases: Hepatitis C Virus and who are antibody positive, (HCV); Hepatitis B Virus and who are surface antigen positive, (HBV); or Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV). It is premised on the understanding that the medical, scientific and legal principles of blood-borne infections are still evolving, and that the University of Minnesota Medical School will respond to the challenges presented by these infections with sensitivity, flexibility, and the best current medical, scientific, and legal information available.

Status, Accommodations and Testing

No student or resident shall be denied acceptance into the medical school or residency programs on the basis of HIV, HBV, or HCV serostatus. Evaluation for admission and continuation in the programs will focus on whether the individual in his or her current state of health, with reasonable accommodations will be able to successfully complete the essential elements of the educational program.

The Medical School will work with the infected student or resident and the University's Office of Disability Services to provide reasonable accommodations where needed. An accommodation is not considered reasonable if it alters the fundamental nature or requirements of the educational program, imposes an undue hardship, or fails to eliminate or substantially reduce a direct threat to the health or safety of others.

No student or resident will be required to undergo HIV testing. It is the responsibility of the individual medical student or resident who suspects that he or she may be at risk for HIV, HBV, or HCV infection to ascertain his or her serostatus. Depending on the requirements of clinical sites, medical students and residents may be required to be immunized against HBV.

Reporting and Confidentiality

Medical students or residents infected with HCV, HBV, or HIV have a professional responsibility to report their serostatus to  the Medical School. Consistent with the self-reporting requirements imposed on physicians and other regulated healthcare workers under Minnesota law, Minn. Stat. ß 214, this reporting obligation shall be mandatory for students and residents infected with HIV or HBV. Failure to self-report is basis for disciplinary action by the Medical School.

The clinical sites where students and residents train also may have reporting requirements depending on the procedures and activities to be performed by the medical student or resident.

Students and residents who wish to perform exposure-prone invasive procedures at a clinical site as part of their education and training must comply with all review, disclosure and infection control requirements at that site. Another potential option that may preserve greater confidentiality for the student or resident is to restructure the clinical experience to avoid participation in any exposure-prone procedures. The Medical School will work with the affected student or resident and the clinical site(s) to help shape the appropriate educational experience.

Confidentiality of all information about HIV, HBV, or HCV status will be maintained pursuant to state and federal laws. The individuals who will be informed of the student's or resident's serostatus are designated representative(s)  of the Medical School, designated representative(s) of the clinical site to the extent required by the site's policies, and the Office of Disability Services if the student or resident requests accommodations. Faculty who are providing modifications in the student's or resident's educational program will be informed that the individual has a blood-borne infectious disease, but will not be notified of the particular disease.

The Medical School recognizes that individuals infected with HCV, HBV, and/or HIV are able to practice medicine, and to practice many specialties unimpeded by disease specific restrictions. Therefore the school will provide assistance to any student or resident infected with these diseases to complete their MD or residency program requirements subject to considerations that it deems in its best judgment are appropriate to the circumstances of each individual case.

[Adopted by the Education Council on 12/21/99]