Delaying Exams Due to Illness


Purpose: The purpose of this document is to outline a clear process and set of enforceable rules for how students should address the need to delay exams during the pre-clerkship and clerkship years.

Scope: The policy and procedural guidelines apply to all undergraduate medical students enrolled full-time in the MD curriculum. 

Background: Students are expected to attend exams on the days outlined in the syllabus for each course. On the other hand, the school acknowledges the legitimate need for students to delay taking an exam due to illness or crisis. The following policy, guideline, and procedures seek to balance these requirements.

The most common types of exam delays can typically be divided into three major categories:

  • Acute Illness or Crisis: typically occurs immediately before or on the day of an exam (i.e., sudden febrile illness, severe nausea/vomiting, accident with personal injury, serious illness, or death in the family).
  • Proximal Illness: Typically occurs proximal (~5 days prior) to scheduled exams and has significantly interfered with a student’s ability to study/prepare.
  • Chronic and/or Pre-Existing Illness or Condition: Students who enter medical school with a pre-existing, chronic illness or condition, or those who are diagnosed while in medical school must follow the Accommodations Policy and Procedure

Policy: Students who are granted an exam delay are expected to take the exam when they are ready, scheduling permitting, and in keeping with the Remediation Requirements listed in the Policies Governing Medical Students’ Academic Progress and Conduct.

Procedures & Guidelines:
Published August 24, 2022