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: Professionalism in patient care requires reliable attendance. This policy formalizes 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. 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.

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

Approved 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
  • Unanticipated family/personal emergency
  • Needed diagnostic, preventative, and therapeutic health services

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

Other time off:
  • Personal medical illness
  • Step 2 CK
  • Missed clerkship time because of travel complications
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 8 weeks before the start of the first rotation).
  • For conferences, requests should be made at least 8 weeks before the start of the clerkship.
For other time off:
  • In the case of illness, the student must contact the clerkship director and/or clerkship coordinator.
  • If a student will miss more than two 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 twelve (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 any time off at the discretion of the clerkship director.
  • 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.

Approved by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on April 14, 2011