Unscheduled Time in Preclinical Years Policy

Policy Statement

Contact hours are defined as the amount of learning contact time scheduled in classrooms, laboratories, small groups, required online video preparatory material, and clinical settings each week. These sessions are identified in the class schedule and include both mandatory and non-mandatory sessions.

The content in the year 1 and 2 curriculum may be delivered via lecture, small group or team-based learning activities, simulation activities, skill exercises, laboratory-based activities, or online modules. The total duration of these activities should be no more than 25 hours per week when averaged over a semester, and must not exceed 28 hours in a single week. This includes both in-class activities, mandatory videos assigned to be completed outside of scheduled class time and clinical preceptor time. There should be no more than 8 hours of scheduled time in a given day. Preparation time for any session through mandatory video content should be limited to approximately one hour per each hour of scheduled class time. Classroom instruction should not commence before 8 am or continue past 5 pm. Time should be set aside for a daily midday one-hour lunch break, which may be occupied by mandatory informational session where lunch is provided.

The Clinical Practice of Medicine preceptorship experience begins in September of year 1 and continues until the end of year 2. In year one, students are required to attend the same ambulatory clinic over the course of the year for four afternoons per semester. In year two, students are required to attend eight afternoons with an inpatient physician and eight afternoons with an outpatient physician.

The Office of Medical Curriculum will monitor the contact hours for year 1 and 2 courses and when concerns regarding contact hours and student workload arise the Curriculum Committee will be notified of noncompliance. All faculty members will be informed of the contact hours policy annually and will be required to comply.

Reason For Policy

To outline expectations about the amount of time appropriate to schedule for students’ in-class activities and out-of-class activities during the pre-clerkship phase of the curriculum, with the goal of ensuring time for independent study, and an overall manageable workload.

LCME Standard 6.3 Self-Directed And Life-Long Learning

The faculty of a medical school ensure that the medical curriculum includes self-directed learning experiences and time for independent study to allow medical students to develop the skills of lifelong learning. Self-directed learning involves medical students’ self-assessment of learning needs; independent identification, analysis, and synthesis of relevant information; and appraisal of the credibility of information sources.

Reviewed by Curriculum Committee: 10/26/18
Passed by Curriculum Committee: 12/14/18
Policy Implementation: Course Directors and Office of Medical Curriculum
Policy Contact: Senior Associate Dean for Medical Curriculum