Absence and Attendance Policy

Preclinical Years (Phase 1)

Policy Statement

Required Activities:

Attendance is required at exams and patient presentations as well as designated small group activities and active learning sessions where each student’s participation has an impact on colleagues. The required sessions will be indicated in the course schedule.

Attendance at lecture is not mandatory, but highly encouraged. Students may watch lectures via the recordings on UBLearns, however students should be aware that because technology is not always reliable, these recordings are not guaranteed.

Excused Absences:

A student will be excused from required activities in the circumstances listed below. In these circumstances, students missing a points-bearing activity will be allowed to make it up, if possible, or not penalized. Students will still be responsible for completion of any individual work or group work that will be missed.

1.     Access to Healthcare – Students will be excused from required activities for needed diagnostic, preventive and therapeutic health services. The student should select an appointment time that minimizes time lost from required activities whenever possible. If an appointment time outside of the required activities is not available, then the student will be excused to receive these services. Students still need to submit a Requested Absence Form following the procedures below.

2.     Religious Observances – Students will be excused from required activities when religious observances require it. Students still need to submit a Requested Absence Form following the procedures below.

3.     Inclement Weather – Please refer to the School Closing Policy. If the school is not closed, but a student is not coming in per the School Closing Policy, students still need to submit a Requested Absence Form as soon as possible, but within 48 hours of the missed required session.

4.     Family or Personal Emergencies – Students will be excused from required activities for personal or family emergencies, such as illness or death in the family, car accident, etc. Students need to submit a Requested Absence Form as soon as possible, but within 48 hours of the missed activity. If a student is absent from an exam due to a family emergency, the school reserves the right to request documentation to be considered excused. If the student cannot provide documentation when requested, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

5.     Student Illness – Students will be excused from required activities in the event of illness. Students need to submit a Requested Absence Form prior to the start of the scheduled activity. If a student is absent from an exam due to illness, a doctor’s note will be required to be considered excused. If the student cannot provide a doctor’s note, it will be considered an unexcused absence.

6.     University Sanctioned Activities – Students will be excused from required activities for active participation in a professional conference, joint degree program required activities, or student representative responsibilities. Students need to submit a Requested Absence Form following the procedures below.

Personal Days:

In addition, students are allowed 3 personal days from required activities per semester (no more than 2 in one course) for any reason. Personal Days include anything that does not fall under excused absences above. Students still need to submit a Requested Absence Form following the procedures below. Students missing a points-bearing activity will accept a “0” grade. Students will still be responsible for completion of any work or group work that will be missed.

Personal days cannot be used to miss an exam or on the last CPM small group session of the semester. If a student needs to miss an exam, the student needs to discuss this with the course director at the beginning of the course and the course director will decide if they will be allowed to take the exam at another time.

Submitting a Requested Absence Form:

All Requested Absence Forms must be submitted in advance of the requested absence, unless otherwise noted above.

Students will be contacted regarding receipt of the form, confirmation of the requested absence, or denial of the requested absence within 2 business days. If the absence is denied it is because the requested absence does not follow the policies and procedures above or the student has exceeded the limit of personal days or excused absences. Further communication with the course coordinator, course director and/or the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs will occur.

Absence Limits and Policy Violations:

Personal Days follow the limits indicated above. Students exceeding these limits will be referred to the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs and may be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.

Students exceeding 3 excused absences per semester will be referred to the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs and may be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.

Unexcused absences are not allowed. If a student arrives more than ten minutes late to a required activity, it is also considered an unexcused absence. After the first unexcused absence, the student will receive a written warning via email from either the course coordinator or course director. The second unexcused absence will result in referral to the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs and the student may be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee.

The Professional Conduct Committee can make recommendations to correct breaches of professional conduct as listed in Section V, G of the Code of Professional Conduct.

Students with extended absences for illness or other circumstances may require a course remediation, a leave of absence, or other change to their regular academic schedule. These cases will be referred to the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs, the Student Progress Committee, or the Leave of Absence Committee as appropriate.

Reason for Policy

LCME Standard 12.4, 3.5, 9.8, 11.1

Active participation in the curriculum is important for training, assessment, and patient care. Attendance and punctuality are expected and considered critical components of a student’s educational experience and commitment to professionalism. Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences works with students to accommodate absences for significant and appropriate reasons. The intent of accommodations for absences is to help students address events outside of their control, as well as to balance personal and professional responsibilities in a professional manner. Medical students should exercise professional judgment and timely communication with appropriate faculty and staff for all absences. Absences will be monitored to ensure completion of the curriculum.

Clinical Years (Phase 2)

Punctuality

Punctuality is a core component of professionalism.  Students are expected to arrive prepared and on time to all clerkship activities.  Students with pervasive tardiness will be contacted by the clerkship director.

Health/Medicine Absences

Absence for more than two days in a 12 week clerkship (medicine, surgery) may result in a grade of “Incomplete” and students may be required to make up the lost time.

Absence for more than 1.5 days in a 6 week clerkship (pediatrics, FM, psychiatry, GYN/OB) may result in a grade of “Incomplete” and students may be required to make up the lost time.

Absence for more than one day in a 4 week clerkship/course (Neurology, advanced medicine, surgical subspecialties, and electives) may result in a grade of “Incomplete” and students may be required to make up the lost time.

It is the student’s responsibility to notify the course coordinator if he/she will be absent from either the inpatient or outpatient rotation due to illness.  Asking another student to notify the team or the outpatient site is not acceptable and will be considered unprofessional behavior.  Documentation from the treating physician may be required.

Please contact the clerkship coordinator in the event of serious illness for which you anticipate more than two days absence.

Absence due to attending a conference:

During all clinical rotations/clerkships, advanced permission to attend a conference must be obtained from the clerkship/course director and the Senior Associate Dean for Student and Academic Affairs at least six weeks in advance. Proof of attendance will be required.

Preferential consideration will be given to students who have an active role in the conference.

Absence due to residency interviews

During all clinical rotations/clerkships, advanced permission to attend a residency interview must be obtained from the clerkship/course director.

This will occur only during the four week courses in the fourth year. One day per (7 day) week is allowed, or as given permission by the clerkship/course director.

Absence due to needed diagnostic, preventive, or therapeutic health services

Students must be excused from classes for needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services.  The student should make an effort to select an appointment time that minimizes the time lost from required activities, if available. If an appointment time outside of the required activities is not available, then students must be excused to receive these services.

Reason for Policy

LCME Standard 12.4 STUDENT ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE SERVICES

A medical school provides its medical students with timely access to needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at sites in reasonable proximity to the locations of their required educational experiences and has policies and procedures in place that permit students to be excused from these experiences to seek needed care.

Reviewed by Curriculum Committee: 11/30/18
Passed by Curriculum Committee: 12/14/18
Policy Implementation: Course and Clerkship Directors
Policy Contact: Curriculum Committee