University Policy

School of Medicine Policy

A student who is absent from School assignments must inform the Student Affairs office and/or the Course or Clerkship Director promptly of the reason for the absence and its expected duration.

Medical Student Time Off During Third- and Fourth-Year Clinical Rotations

Purpose: The purpose of this policy is to formalize guidelines for time off for planned or unexpected absences during the clinical years. Clear communication of the expectations between students and clerkship directors will permit flexibility within reasonable limits in a way that does not impact either clinical education or reflect on a student’s professionalism.

  • The medical school will centrally track the number of days off for each student. After a fourth approved absence, the Registrar will send a report to the Student Affairs Office. Any student with more than 5 days (per academic year) of time off (not made up) will be referred to the promotions committee. It is the responsibility of the student to not finish the year with >5 days absent.

Third Year Time Off Policy

No “personal days” or excused absences can be permitted from patient care activities except for the specific reasons listed below. Professionalism in patient care requires reliable attendance.

There will be no time off given for the Step 2 exam in the third year.

Fourth Year Time Off Policy

The same policy for excused absences applies as during third year. Students are allowed to take additional days off for interviewing as described below.

The time off policy for the third and fourth years includes:

Anticipated time off
  • Conferences (only if the student is presenting, is an officer in an organization, or other situations by special permission)
  • Residency interviews
  • Religious observances
  • Jury Duty

Exception: Step 2 CS—days off are considered working days and are not subject to this policy.

Unanticipated time off
  • Personal medical illness
  • Unexpected personal time needs (including funerals, family illness, etc.)
Notification policy

For all anticipated time off the student will need to notify the Registrar’s Office and the Clerkship Director as far in advance as possible:

  • In the case of religious holidays, notification should occur before the start of the academic year (and at least 6 weeks before the start of the first rotation).
  • For conferences, requests should be made at least 6 weeks before the start of the clerkship.
For unanticipated time off
  • In the case of illness, if a student will miss more than 2 days the student will need to obtain a note from their personal physician.
  • The student must maintain communication between him/herself and the medical school, before traveling to family/etc., and while there. This communication can include contact with the Clerkship Director, Administrator, Site Director, Registrar, and staff in the Student Affairs Office.
Time off for residency interviews

Students requiring time away from clerkships for interviewing may take up to 12 days off during interview season, which extends from October–February 15th.

  1. Students are encouraged to take a four-week block of vacation during interview season. Also, students may request to split a four-week rotation over eight weeks if enrollment and the structure of the clerkship permit. Clerkship Directors should allow this if possible. 
  2. Students may request no more than 5 days off for interviewing during any four-week rotation, and no more than four days over any two-week rotation. This includes partial day absences of greater than four hours. Students will be required to make up time missed at the Clerkship Director’s discretion.
  3. All requests for time off must include written verification of the interview location and date, provided to the Clerkship Director.
  4. Students who require more days off than stated above must arrange with the Clerkship Director to make up the missed days, with Spring Break a possible time. Missed days cannot be made up by taking time from other rotations.
Make up time
  • The student will be expected to be available to make up anticipated time off at the discretion of the Clerkship Director. The student may also be asked to make up unanticipated time off if it is felt to negatively impact the clinical experience of the student.
  • If the student’s absence will involve missing an examination, the student will need to retake the exam at the discretion of the Clerkship Director.