Patient Safety

We care about the health and well-being of our patients, and always strive to maintain the highest safety standards. Our patient safety program spans all departments and practices, providing a full range of offerings that prioritize the needs of our patients – from our medical chaperone policies to safeguard patient dignity to the rigorous infection and medication protocols that guide our care.

Medical Chaperone Program

Respect for your privacy and dignity is important, especially when the exam, treatment or procedure may be intimate or sensitive to you. A medical chaperone is a trained, objective observer, who is a member of the health care team, that is present at intimate or sensitive examinations. 

Before starting care, your healthcare provider will explain what will happen during your clinical visit and whether a medical chaperone is needed for all or part of the exam, treatment or procedure. If you have a vaginal, pelvic exam or intravaginal exam or procedures, including an ultrasound, a medical chaperone is required. You will also be offered a medical chaperone for any exam, treatment or procedure involving the external genitalia, breast and/or rectum. Once your chaperone exam is finished, there should be no further physical exam without a medical chaperone being present again.

You may request a medical chaperone for any kind of exam. You can ask for the exam to pause and ask for a medical chaperone at any time. If you request or require a medical chaperone, but one is not available, your healthcare provider may need to reschedule or delay your care until one is available. Every effort will be made to arrange for a medical chaperone of the gender you prefer.

A family member, parent or legal guardian may serve as a medical chaperone for a pediatric patient (age 0-11) exam except for internal exams or procedures involving the vagina or the rectum. For children who are older than age 12, the medical chaperone must be a member of the care team. If you are a patient over the age of 18, you may refuse a medical chaperone.

Medical Chaperones are medical professionals (providers, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, and support staff such as medical assistants, nursing aides, patient care attendants, technicians, mental health workers, and other medical personnel) who have received specialized training. This training encompasses ensuring privacy and confidentiality, protecting patient well-being, verifying the content of clinical conversations and physical exams, and reporting and escalating concerns.

If you have any questions, please speak with your healthcare provider or the site manager at your doctor’s practice.

Monitoring and Reporting

All faculty and staff receive extensive training in the reporting and escalation of suspected non-compliance with existing safety protocols. These trainings empower every member of the 51Ʒ community to swiftly escalate concerns via SafetyZone, our safety reporting system, or to the Office of Institutional Equity. These systems ensure that our high standards of professionalism, patient safety and clinical care are continually met and that any suspected breach in protocol can be swiftly addressed. Working as one, we believe that every member of our community is accountable for the safety and well-being of our patients.

Office of Professionalism

51Ʒ’s Office of Professionalism was created with the goal of upholding our culture of integrity with the highest standards of professional conduct. This office collaborates with various stakeholders to ensure accountability, communication and mutual respect in educational, research and clinical settings. The Office of Professionalism is focused on:

  • Upholding Ethical Standards
  • Enhancing Communication Skills
  • Reinforcing Institutional Values
  • Facilitating resolution for lapses in professionalism
  • Providing Continuous Professional Development

Patient Complaints

If you have any concerns about a recent visit, please call Patient Services at (212) 746-4293 or send an email to

For concerns related to privacy of your patient information, learn more about our privacy policy and how to file a complaint here.