Attendance/ Absence

Attendance/Absence Policy

Phase 1 | Phase 2 | Phase 3

03/10/2020
The healthcare and medical education landscape are rapidly changing due to the emerging outbreak of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 and the disease that it causes.  The wellbeing of the entire university community, loved ones, and patients we serve is our top priority.  As an understanding of the disease is evolving, students are expected to be knowledgeable of and adhere to all guidance provided by governmental, local, and institutional authorities.  This is not only a matter of professionalism but necessary to protect the health and safety of students as well as their family, friends, colleagues, and patients.  Current guidelines can be found here.
 

This guidance and other related factors outside of students' control may significantly impact the ability to attend or participate in curricular activities.  These include illness, quarantine, travel restrictions, and closure of internal and external facilities providing services to students and their families.  The College will attempt to be flexible in helping students navigate the impact these pose to schedules.  Students are to report such absences related to COVID-19 from blocks, clerkships, and rotations to both Drs. Grant/Erickson and the Office of Medical Education (ome@unmc.edu) as soon as possible and these will be considered excused with approval of the Dean's office.  While the College will endeavor to provide as much instruction as possible via alternative methods to students affected by COVID-19, absences from certain activities or rotations (even when excused) may require adjustment to students' course schedules or make-up activities at a later date.

Phase 1

ATTENDANCE/ ABSENCE POLICY: Students enrolled in the College of Medicine MD program have entered a professional program and are physicians in training; therefore as part of professional conduct, students are expected to attend all educational activities and approach absences with the same measure of professional responsibility that will be required in their future role as physicians.  Attendance and active participation in designated activities are part of the students’ final grade (see block syllabus grading grid and OASIS for further detail). 

EXCUSED ABSENCES: If absence from an activity, other than lecture, is unavoidable you must notify the Office of Medical Education (OME) if possible before the start of the activity by completing the Absence Request form (see below). An absence may be excused for the following reasons: funeral/death of an immediate family member, personal illness, presentation at a scientific conference or religious obligations.  **Please do not make travel arrangements until after your request has been approved.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCES: As there are other events in students’ lives that are important but do not fall under the excused category, we allow three unexcused absences during the entire Phase One (M1 and M2 combined = Phase One) without incurring a letter of professionalism.  *However, please be aware that students are not permitted to make up quizzes or other graded assignments that are missed, therefore points may be lost due to unexcused absences.  Arriving 10 minutes or later to a small group or lab will result in an unexcused absence.  

*Unexcused absences are tracked in a database and repeated or chronic absences are considered a sign of unprofessional conduct (Student Professionalism). As such, students with a history of greater than three unexcused absences may be referred to the Deans in the Office of Student Affairs.

ABSENCE FROM EXAMINATIONS AND OTHER GRADED ACTIVITIES: Absences from written examinations, clinical or practical examinations, and other graded activities are not permitted except for the following circumstances: funeral/death of an immediate family member, personal illness, presentation at a scientific conference, or religious obligations.  When the absence is sudden, unplanned, or on the same day as the examination/assessment, students must notify the OME by email (ome@unmc.edu) in addition to filling out the online form.  If there is advance notice, students are responsible for requesting approval from the Office of Medical Education (ome@unmc.edu) before the start of the applicable block.  Any absence request is not considered approved until you have received a response from the Associate Dean for Medical Education or representative of the OME.

For any event, students need to follow the steps below for absence from a required activity or an exam.

Step 1: Complete the Absence Request form: Absence Request

Step 2: A representative from the OME will respond to you and provide further instructions.

Step 3: The OME will request additional confirmation regarding absence if needed. 

SPECIAL CASE: The Curriculum Committee may designate additional events as mandatory (for example IPE Day).

Modified by the Office of Medical Education: April 20, 2020

Phase 2

Students enrolled in the College of Medicine program have entered a professional program and are physicians in training.  Students are expected to attend all educational activities and approach absences with the same measure of professional responsibility that will be required in their future role as physicians.  Attendance and active participation in designated activities are part of the students’ final grade.  Student duty hours are explained in the Duty Hour Policy.

Excused Absences are defined as any of the following absences:

All absences, excused or unexcused, require notification of both the clerkship director and the attending on service.  Planned excused absences require notification and approval from the clerkship director two weeks prior to the start of the clerkship. 

All absences will require makeup or remediation of activity/clinical experiences.  Please contact the clerkship director to make appropriate arrangements.

More than one unexcused absence will be discussed with clerkship directors and the Office of Student Affairs.  Documentation of multiple unexcused absences may be a part of your final clerkship narrative.  Multiple unexcused absences or a pattern of unexcused absences over several clerkships and may result in a referral to the Student Evaluation Committee. 

Phase 3

Students are expected to attend all educational activities and approach absences with the same measure of professional responsibility that will be required in their future role as physicians.  Attendance and active participation in designated activities are part of the students’ final grade.  Student duty hours are explained in the Duty Hour Policy.

Required Rotations:  Attendance is required for the Curriculum Enhancement Rotation and the Residency Preparatory Course activities.  Please see Oasis and Canvas for details.

Elective Rotations:  Please refer to any rotation specific attendance policy.  Questions regarding attendance should be sent directly to elective directors and coordinators. 

Excused Absences are defined as any of the following absences:

All absences, excused or unexcused, require notification of both the elective director and coordinator.  Planned excused absences require notification and approval from the elective director a minimum of two weeks prior to the start of the rotation.  Arrangements for make-up, if required, will be determined by the elective director.   

Step 2 Clinical Knowledge Examination

Students may request two (2) days of any rotation within any rotation in Phase 3 (including the Curriculum Enhancement Rotation and Residency Preparatory Course) for the purposes of taking this examination.  Students may be required to make up required activities that are missed during their absence.

Absence requests should be made to the elective director at least two weeks prior to the start of the rotation.  This rotation director must approve each student’s request individually and determine what make-up, if any, is required.  Additionally, the student is to complete the Absence Request form, documenting the reason for the absence and that rotation director has given approval.

Residency Interviews

Students may request up to five (5) weekdays and two (2) weekend days off from each of four (4) non-required rotations/electives for the purpose of interviewing for a post-graduate position.  Absence requests should be made to the elective director at least two weeks prior to the start of the rotation/elective.  This elective director must approve each student’s request individually and determine what make-up if any is required. 

All phases

Religious Obligations

Conflicts between religious obligations and patient care obligations are handled on clinical rotations much as they would be in clinical practice with patient care responsibilities taking precedence unless coverage has been previously arranged.

Departments should make every effort to respect students' religious customs and to adjust the on-call schedule to allow students to observe religious activities as long as this does not penalize other students or jeopardize patient care.

The student must inform the department of his or her request well in advance of the rotation if it is to be incorporated in the on-call schedule. When scheduling conflicts cannot be resolved, however, it is up to the student to make sure that their patient care and on-call responsibilities are met in full. In the event that students cannot obtain coverage, they are expected to take call themselves, regardless of the religious conflict.

Healthcare Services

Students are expected to seek necessary health care to maintain their physical and mental well-being and are excused to obtain these services. Examples of necessary health care include preventive health services, visits for acute illness, ongoing care for chronic illnesses, dental visits, physical therapy, and counseling and psychological services. 

For planned absences related to healthcare, students must contact the OME (Phase 1), clerkship director (Phase 2), or rotation director (Phase 3) in advance to coordinate time away.  Students are expected to make these appointments in a manner that minimizes absence from required activities or service. Consistent with their rights under University policies and the law, students have a right to privacy when seeking care.

 

Approved by the Curriculum Committee: January 28, 2020 
Modified by the Office of Medical Education: April 20, 2020
Modified by the Office of Medical Education: March 12, 2021