Code of Ethics and Business Conduct

SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate) expects all employees, faculty and members of the College Council to conduct themselves in accordance with all legal requirements and State, University and institutional policies that apply to their position. The basic guidelines outlined below must be adhered to by each member of our faculty and staff.

Compliance with Laws and Regulations

Downstate will strive to ensure all activity by or on behalf of the organization is in compliance with applicable laws and regulations.

Adherence to Ethical Standards

In furtherance of Downstate's commitment to the highest standards of business ethics and integrity, employees will accurately and honestly represent Downstate and will not engage in any activity intended to defraud any individual or organization of money, property or honest services.

Patient Care

All patients are entitled to equal access to care, to be treated with care and respect and to the protection of their privacy and the confidentiality of their medical records.


Downstate is committed to providing an academic workplace and patient care setting which treats all individuals fairly and respectfully. Discrimination or harassment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, nationality, age disability, sexual orientation or veteran's status is strictly prohibited.


Downstate employees shall maintain the confidentiality of patient and other confidential information in accordance with applicable legal and ethical standards.

Record Accuracy and Retention

All Downstate records, documents and reports must be accurate, complete and in compliance with Downstate, accreditation and governmental requirements. Additionally, all records shall be retained in accordance with State and Federal record retention requirements. All bills for Downstate services must be supported by actual services provided and by required documentation. Institutional records or documents of any kind should not be removed from the premises unless approved in conjunction with policies and procedures.

Use and Protection of SUNY Downstate Assets and Transactions

All employees will strive to preserve and protect Downstate's assets by making prudent and effective use of its resources and properly and accurately reporting its financial condition.

Business transactions with vendors, contractors and other third parties shall be transacted appropriately, without offers, solicitation or acceptance of gifts and favors or other improper inducements in exchange for influence or assistance in a transaction. We must conduct our business activities on the basis of fair competitive practices. All purchases of services and supplies must be from qualified and reliable sources and be based upon objective factors, consistent with institutional policies and procedures.

Avoidance of Conflict of Interest

Executives, managers, physicians, other employees, and volunteer physicians and committee members owe a duty of undivided and unqualified loyalty to the Downstate. Persons holding such positions may not use their positions to profit personally or to assist others in profiting in any way at the expense of the organization. We must avoid conduct which has even the appearance of conflict between our personal interests and those of the Downstate Health Sciences University (Downstate).

Academic/Research Integrity

Downstate is dedicated to upholding the legal and ethical standards applicable to medical education and research, including Federal and State requirements relating to scientific misconduct, the protection of human subjects in research and the use of animals in research.

Environmental Laws and Occupational Safety

We must comply fully with all environmental laws and regulations. All hazardous materials and infectious wastes must be stored, handled and disposed of in full compliance with all laws, regulations and institutional policies. Unsafe storage or inappropriate release of such materials into the environment must be promptly reported. We will work cooperatively with the appropriate authorities to remedy any environmental contamination for which Downstate may be responsible.

We must abide by all laws and regulations regarding occupational safety.

Maintenance of a Drug and Alcohol Free Workplace

The use, sale, purchase, transfer, possession or presence in one's system of illegal drugs is strictly prohibited. Similarly, the use, sale, purchase, transfer, possession or presence in one's system of alcoholic beverages while on duty is prohibited.