Absences and attendance policies vary for each educational lecture or experience. Please review the following information for specific policies.

Absence from M2 Cores & Phase 1 Blocks

Attendance for all small group sessions is mandatory.  The Office of Medical Education may designate additional events as mandatory (for example but not limited to: patient presentations, laboratory sessions). 

If a student finds that he or she must be absent from a required activity, he or she should notify the Office of Medical Education (OME) by sending an email prior to the start of the activity.  In some cases, the OME may grant an excused absence for events like the funeral of a family member, severe personal illness, presentation at a scientific conference, or religious obligations.  The student should be prepared to provide supporting evidence (doctor’s note, obituary).  The following are not acceptable reasons for missing a required session (list not inclusive): attending a wedding, travel to weekend events, meeting with a preceptor, allocating time to prepare for exams, medical appointments that are not emergent and can be scheduled at a different time.

The Core/Block Director or small group leader does not designate absences as excused or unexcused; only the appropriate representative from the Office of Medical Education can perform this task.  Students should not contact a faculty member to request approval for an excused absence from a required activity.  Only after the OME has communicated to the student the consequences for missing a required activity should the student exercise professionalism and notify appropriate faculty of the absence and the consequences related to that absence. 

A student with an absence, no matter the reason, will be marked by facilitators as absent.  A student who is more than 15 minutes tardy is considered absent and marked as such. 

All student absences from required events are tallied and kept for historical record in the Office of Medical Education. Absences will be kept in a cumulative total throughout all four years in medical school. Consequences for unexcused absences could include but are not limited to: the lowering of a grade, a negative Medical Citizenship report, or assignment of a task to remediate missed content.  Excessive absences will be reported to the Office of Student Affairs.

Absence from Examinations

Absence from examinations/OSCEs is not permitted except for illness or for obligations that cannot be rescheduled.  Examples include: presentation at a scientific meeting, funeral (near relative or very close friend), as a major participant in a wedding, and personal illness.  Students must request approval for an absence from the Office of Medical Education ( prior to the start of the applicable block/core. Students with an illness must be prepared to provide supporting documentation from a healthcare provider.  Make-up OSCEs cannot be guaranteed and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis.

If you become ill the evening before or morning of an examination, please contact the OME by sending an email to 

M3 & M4 Years

Students missing clerkships/rotations for any reason other than illness or death in the immediate family must request approval at least two weeks prior to the beginning of the clerkship.  No approval will be given for late requests.  Failure to follow this policy will be noted on a medical citizenship form.

Absence from Clinical Clerkships (M3)  
Student duty hours are explained in the Duty Hour Policy (

Absence is not allowed from required clerkships except as follows:

Off-campus electives

Students may take no more than three elective months off-campus during the clinical years, if approved by the appropriate department. The three months does not include the Family Medicine preceptorship. The committee will not approve additional off-campus time to investigate residencies or for personal or social reasons.

Release time - residency interviews

Senior medical 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. 

Approved Curriculum Committee - 11/25/14

Other M4 absences

Senior students may be allowed time off of non-required electives in order to participate in medical meetings or to take USMLE Step 2 CK or CS exams.  The elective director must approve each student's request individually and determine what make-up, if any, is required.

Approved Curriculum Committee - 11/25/14

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.

Student Rotation/Health Care Sensitivity Option

In the event that a student is seen by a Nebraska Medicine or UNMC physician who is an academic provider, every effort will be made to ensure that said student does not rotate and/or is not graded by the faculty who provided the care.  This policy prevents the potential for conflict of interest in the grading and evaluation of the student.  Alleviation of student distress over sensitivity and confidentiality of health care is also maintained.  The student may exercise his/her right to request a different provider for medical education, within the affected rotation, should such circumstances arise.