Leave of Absence Policies and Procedures


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Scholarly Year Out (formerly Program Extension)
MD/Penn Masters
Short-Term Break
Personal Leave of Absence
Medical Leave of Asbence

SCHOLARLY YEAR OUT (formerly Program Extension)
Examples: Fellowship, Research Year

The duration of a Scholarly Year out is typically one year. To begin the process students should consult their Advisory Dean and the Combined Degree Year Out (CDYO) Office. Once a scholarly project has been approved, students should work with their Advisory Dean and the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development to schedule their Sub-Is, electives, remaining Step exams, Frontiers and any additional graduation requirements. The student must complete the Arranged Activity form through the Registrar’s Office. 

While on a Scholarly Year Out, student status will remain full time. Students are eligible to work in PSOM and participate in PSOM-related activities, including interest groups, affinity groups, Medical Student Government (MSG), and more. Students are allowed to take NBME exams. 

Students will not pay tuition, however they will be responsible for administrative fees. Depending on where and what type of research is being done, students may apply for a clinical fee waiver (for instance if doing research off campus). Prior year loans are eligible for in-school deferment. Direct loans may be available to assist in covering fees, health insurance and living expenses. Students will have liability coverage. 

As full time students, insurance is required either through the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) or a private plan (documentation must be provided). 

The Scholarly Year Out will be mentioned on the MSPE. The Student Standards committee will not be notified. 

MD/Penn MASTERS
Examples: MD/MBA, MD/MTR

The duration of a MD/Masters program may vary, however lasts typically one year. To begin the process students should consult their Advisory Dean and the Combined Degree Year Out (CDYO) Office. Once a student has been accepted into a Masters program, they should work with their Advisory Dean and the Associate Dean for Student Success and Professional Development to schedule their Sub-Is, electives, remaining Step exams, Frontiers and any additional graduation requirements. As a dual degree student, any academic or professional deficiencies may be shared between both administrating programs.

While enrolled as a combined degree student, student status will remain full time. Students are eligible to work in PSOM, and participate in PSOM-related activities, including interest groups, affinity groups, MSG, and more. Students are allowed to take NBME exams. 

Tuition and fees are program specific. The student is responsible for Masters degree tuition (grants and stipends possible). Any MD scholarship will not apply. Prior year loans are eligible for in-school deferment. Direct loans may be available to assist in covering fees, health insurance and living expenses. Students will have liability coverage.

As full time students, insurance is required either through the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) or a private plan (documentation must be provided). 

The combined degree will be mentioned on the MSPE. The Student Standards committee will not be notified. 

SHORT-TERM BREAK
Examples: unexpected short-term medical emergency, illness or death in family

The duration of a short-term break is up to 8 weeks. To begin the process students should communicate with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness. Students must communicate with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness upon return. While in Modules 1 and 2, students must make up any missed coursework and exams, and potentially take a Leave of Absence if an entire course needs to be taken. While in Module 4, depending on the timing of the short-term break, Clerkship Directors may require students make up missed work/shifts, or postpone the entire clerkship to the next year. A student who has an outstanding Mod 4 failure (exam or clinical) may use a short-term break to remediate the failed component. 

While on a short-term break, student status will remain full time. Students are eligible to work in PSOM, and participate in PSOM-related activities, including interest groups, affinity groups, MSG, and more. Students are allowed to take NBME exams. 

Students will continue to pay tuition and fees. Students will have liability coverage. 

As full time students, insurance is required either through the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) or a private plan (documentation must be provided). 

The short-term break will not be mentioned on the MSPE, unless multiple short-term breaks occur. This decision is at the discretion of the Student Standards Committee, which will only be notified if there are multiple short-term breaks. 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE (PERSONAL)
Example: includes military service, additional non-Penn degree, other career opportunity, provision of care for family member, childbirth, adoption, parental responsibilities, etc

A Leave of Absence is any time away from school over 8 weeks. To begin the process students should consult their Advisory Dean and/or the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness. If enrolled in the MD/PhD program, Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Training must be consulted. Once the decision to take a Leave of Absence has been made, students must submit a written request and meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness to review the process. Students must meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness before returning, as well. Any academic or professionalism deficiencies at the time of leave must have approval of SSC prior to start of leave. SSC may require stipulations during leave in order to return which may include a plan for remediation and may request the student appear before the committee. Scenarios in which SSC must be consulted include: if the request is for over 2 years; to extend a previously approved LOA; if an 2nd leave is being requested (after returning from LOA); additional academic or professional difficulties occur. Students who do not return at the end of their LOA may be administratively withdrawn from PSOM.

While on a leave of absence, students will not have active student status. Students cannot participate in PSOM-related activities, including interest groups, affinity groups, MSG, and more. Students cannot take NBME exams. Students may work in PSOM, in non-student roles only, with permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness. 

Students will not pay tuition or fees, and are not eligible for loans or financial aid. After 180 days, loans will be out of deferment. Students may file a forbearance or a deferment, but it is not guaranteed this will be granted.  

If students are covered by the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) for 6 months prior to LOA, they are eligible for 1 year of LOA Continuation coverage and must apply through PSIP. Students on a leave of absence are not covered for liability, meaning students are not permitted to take NBME exams, and activates completed while on LOA will not count toward graduation requirements.

The Student Standards Committee (SSC) will be notified, and the dates only of the leave of absence will be noted on MSPE. 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE (MEDICAL)
Example: personal illness

A Leave of Absence is any time away from school over 8 weeks. Students must meet with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness. If enrolled in the MD/PhD program, Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Training must be consulted. Students must provide a written request to begin their leave as well as documentation from the student's healthcare provider, and/or administrative psychiatric or medical evaluation. A Fit-for-Duty letter from the healthcare provider is required for return. Any academic or professionalism deficiencies at the time of leave will be postponed until after the medical leave of absence, and the Student Standards Committee will be notified. Depending on the nature of the deficiencies, SSC may require stipulations during leave in order to return which may include a plan for remediation and may request the student appear before the committee. The request to extend a medical leave past one year requires approval from Student Affairs and Wellness Dean and recommendation of healthcare provider.  SSC must be consulted if additional academic or professional difficulties occur while on leave. Students who do not return at the end of their LOA may be administratively withdrawn from PSOM. 

While on a leave of absence, students will not have active student status. Students cannot participate in PSOM-related activities, including interest groups, affinity groups, MSG, and more. Students cannot take NBME exams. Students may work in PSOM, in non-student roles only, with permission from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Wellness. 

Students will not pay tuition or fees, and are not eligible for loans or financial aid. After 180 days, loans will be out of deferment. Students may file a forbearance or a deferment, but it is not guaranteed this will be granted.  

If students are covered by the Penn Student Insurance Plan (PSIP) for 6 months prior to LOA, they are eligible for 1 year of LOA Continuation coverage and must apply through PSIP. Student a leave of absence are not covered for liability, meaning students are not permitted to take NBME exams, and activates completed while on LOA will not count toward graduation requirements.

The Student Standards Committee (SSC) will be notified, and the dates only of the leave of absence will be noted on MSPE.