The purpose of this policy is to outline a clear process and detail enforceable rules for student absences and attendance during Core 3.
After reading the policy, you can find the Core 3 absence request form Core 3 Absence Request Form.
Medical students engage in both clinical and non-clinical activities during Core 3 to meet graduation requirements. During this time, students may be confronted with competing demands including residency interviews, conference attendance, family or personal events, along with any required personal or medical care. The following policy seeks to balance these requirements.
- Attendance during clinical elective rotations is mandatory, except in extenuating circumstances.
- However, there are competing commitments during clinical electives, and this policy seeks to guide students to balance those commitments.
- Attendance will be tracked by the medical school administration and course directors.
- Students will be granted time off for certain University recognized federal holidays.
Non-Personal Day Excused Absences
Students may be granted non-personal day excused absences for the following situations:
- Chronic illnesses/ongoing need for medical or mental health care:
- Students who are scheduled for ongoing, recurring appointments or who have other ongoing medical or mental health appointments during Core 3 must follow the Documentation/Accommodation Process steps outlined on the Student Disabilities Services (SDS) webpage.
- SDS will notify the Office of Student Affairs if the request has been approved, while maintaining the student’s privacy.
- The Director of Student Affairs will subsequently inform the student and help accommodate the student’s needs while maintaining the student’s privacy.
- Students should contact SDS at least 4 weeks prior to the start of Core 3 if a new accommodation is needed.
- Presentation of research or scholarly work or an invitation to represent PSOM at a national or regional conference:
- Students will be allowed to use up to 2 non-personal days per year to attend a national or regional conference at which they are presenting, or to which they have been invited as a PSOM representative. The day(s) should be used only for the day of their presentation (not the entire conference) and travel time. More than 2 presentations per year will require make up time but will be considered an excused absence.
- As a PSOM representative, students should limit their excused absence request to days on which events they have been asked to attend are scheduled.
- Students must submit documentation that they are presenting at or have been invited to represent PSOM the conference to qualify for the non-personal day(s). Documentation may include a copy of the conference or poster session agenda with their name or their conference badge upon return.
- Students are discouraged from taking additional personal days during any elective/course if they have already requested 2 non-personal days to present at a conference. If additional days are needed within any given course/elective, students will need to make up the additional days at the discretion of the course director.
- Residency interviews:
- Students will be allowed to use up to 3 non-personal days per four-week rotation and 1 non-personal day per two-week rotation for residency interviews. Additional missed days will need to be made up at the discretion of the course director.
- Students must notify the course director about any scheduled interviews as soon as they are scheduled.
- Students who need to take more than 1 day per week for interviews during an elective may be subject to make up work at the discretion of the course director.
- Students are discouraged from taking additional personal days during any elective/course if they have already requested days off for interviews.
- Acute illness:
- Students who become suddenly, acutely ill during Core 3 should notify their team and their course director, and complete the Core 3 absence request form.
- If the student requires more than 1 day off for an acute illness, they may need to submit a note and/or 'fit for duty' letter from their primary care provider and may need to make up additional time before the end of the course, especially if the student has already taken off additional time (via personal days or excused non-personal days). This will be determined at the discretion of the course director and/or COO and in accordance with the make-up days policy detailed below.
- All acute illness absences or quarantine requirements will be tracked by the course directors and medical school administration.
- Family illness/emergency/death:
- In the event of an immediate family member’s illness/emergency/death, students will routinely be granted an excused absence, and the school administration will be available as needed for support. Students should inform their course director and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness.
- Both the school administration and individual course instructors will assist the student upon their return to assess any possible need for make-up time or work, if appropriate.
Personal Day Excused Absences
- Students can take up to 4 personal days over the 16-months of Core 3, with the exception that NO personal days may be taken during a required sub-internship in Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Pediatrics, or Emergency Medicine.
- Students can use their personal days for events such as weddings, graduations, religious holidays or observations, tournaments, conferences (where they are not presenting) and planned wellness days.
- Students can request personal days by submitting an Elective Absence Request Form at least 4 weeks in advance of the scheduled absence. The form is automatically sent to the Chief Operating Officer (COO) for review.
- The request will be approved if it meets all of the following four qualifications:
- Students cannot use a personal day on the first day (orientation) of an elective/course.
- Students cannot use a personal day to extend a University recognized federal holiday.
- Students cannot use a personal day on the day of a quiz, test, or other graded assignment where attendance on that day is necessary to receive a grade for that assignment.
- Students cannot use more than 1 personal day during a two or four-week elective.
- If the student has met or exceeded the limit of 4 personal days for Core 3, further requests will be flagged and evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the COO and the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development. Exceeding the limit of 4 personal days will require additional make-up work. This includes religious observation requests that go beyond the limit of 4 during the 16 months of Core 3.
Requesting Excused Absences
- Students should request an excused absence at least 4 weeks in advance of any personal day or planned, non-personal day excused absence. The excused absence form should be routed to the COO and the course director. Students will subsequently be notified by the COO about approval.
- Occasionally, students may need to request an unanticipated excused absence that occur less than 4 weeks in advance of the requested date. Any unanticipated excused absence requests will need to be submitted via the Core 3 absence request form and will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the COO and the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development, before being processed by the course director.
- Approval for an unanticipated excused absence is not guaranteed. If the request is approved, the day may count toward one of the student’s four personal days.
Unapproved Unexcused Absences
Any student may be subject to an unexcused absence if they do not submit an absence request form with subsequent approval and/or if they do not notify the course director and/or the Office of Student Affairs in emergent situations with subsequent approval as described above.
- Any student with an unexcused absence may be subject to any or all of the following:
- Required additional make-up days
- Lowering of a grade
- Referral to the student’s Advisory Dean and/or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness
- Any process defined by the Professionalism Subcommittee of the SSC
- Repeated or habitual absences, or unexcused absences in the context of other professionalism concerns will be brought to the attention of the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development, the Associate Dean for Student Affairs, and the Senior Vice Dean for Medical Education. It may also result in the student’s record being presented to the Student Standards Committee for a breach of professionalism.
- Any questions as to whether an absence is appropriate or excusable should be sent to the COO as soon as possible for consideration.
Missing Partial Clinical Days
- Students are not permitted to miss rounds or mandatory sessions during a Core 3 course without approval from the course director.
- Patient care should be prioritized before classroom events or extracurricular activities (i.e. non-mandatory student meetings, student interest group meetings, etc.).
- If a student needs to excuse themselves for a non-mandatory and non-personal health activity, they must discuss the possibility with either their attending or their course director.
- Any non-mandatory or non-personal health activity that requires a student to miss more than one hour of a Core 3 day will need to be approved by the course director.
- Any personal health appointment (i.e. doctor’s appointment) that requires a student to miss more than one hour of a Core 3 day, or that interferes with performing clinical duties, requires approval from the course director (unless the student has received prior approval through SDS or the Office of Student Affairs).
- Students may be required to use an excused absence personal day for any activity that requires them to leave clinical duty for more than one hour, or that interferes with performing duties in any way.
The following rules apply for make-up days that occur in excess of the allowable number of excused/personal day absences:
- For any Core 3 course, students may be required to make-up unexcused days beyond 1 day of missed duty.
- The timing and type of make-up work is at the discretion of the course director. Make-up days which cannot be completed before the course end date will result in a grade of "Incomplete."
- Students who are absent for a number of days deemed to be disruptive enough to prevent satisfactory completion of the course through make-up days may be required to drop the course and potentially retake the entire course. This decision will be made in conjunction with the course director, the Associate Dean for UME Clinical and Health Systems Sciences Curriculum, the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development, and the Office of Student Affairs.
- In general, to receive credit for a Core 3 elective (non-sub-I), students cannot miss more than 4 days total* of a 4-week elective or 2 days total* of a 2-week elective. Students missing more than 1 day* of a 1-week elective will need to complete make up work.
* including approved personal and non-personal absences
Every attempt has been made to compile a comprehensive policy, but there may be specific absence requests that fall outside of the situations listed above.
If students have any questions or have any absence requests that may fall outside of the aforementioned policies, email the COO, Associate Dean for UME Clinical and Health Systems Sciences Curriculum (sub-I related) or the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development (non-Sub-I electives including Frontiers).