The Required Clerkship Curriculum Committee developed the following policy related to absences from clinical coursework. These guidelines are also on the Web, are provided as part of the clerkship track scheduling material in the fall of the second year, and are included as part of each clerkship’s syllabus.
Students should not expect to take time off during a clerkship. Students should anticipate personal events (such as weddings and reunions) and academic events (such as presenting papers at meetings) before scheduling clerkships whenever possible, i.e. do not schedule a required clerkship during this time. With permission from the Clerkship Director, students may be excused for 2 days (including travel time) from a required clerkship for such events. Students needing time off should consult with the appropriate clerkship director 4 – 6 weeks prior to the beginning of the clerkship. Such absences should not be planned during orientations or final examinations. In two-week clerkships, no time off will be approved. In extraordinary circumstances, during a 12 week clerkship, more than one 2 day absence may be granted at the discretion of the Clerkship Director. Students should not regard this policy as a guarantee of time off. If more than 2 days off are needed during a clerkship, the clerkship should be rescheduled. During a clerkship, if a student must miss time due to illness or personal emergency, he or she must call the attending, clerkship director, or resident in charge. The Clerkship Director will determine if make-up time is needed for unintended absences.
If a clerkship exam must be postponed, the student should contact the Clerkship Director to determine if the exam should be rescheduled as soon as possible, or delayed until the next time the exam is given. Progress in other clerkships may be interrupted until the examination is taken depending on the situation surrounding the delay.
Students absent more than 2 days without permission may receive a Fail grade for the clerkship and will be required to repeat the clerkship.
Students should plan time in their schedule for residency interviewing and not have clinical courses schedule during that time. If interviews are offered during times when students are already scheduled for required or elective clerkships in the fourth year, students should work directly with the Clerkship Director in advance of the clerkship regarding absences for residency interviews.
Revised and Approved by Required Clerkship Committee October 19, 2009 and Elective Clerkship Committee October 26, 2009. Updated July 2010.
The goals of the medical students and the faculty of the School of Medicine are one and the same: to get the best medical education possible while not ignoring overall health and happiness. Attention needs to be paid to both duty/work hours and personal time.
Work hours rules have been developed for residents, but similar rules have not been developed for medical students. There are obvious differences in terms of goals, reimbursement, and responsibilities between residents and students. Nonetheless, some guidelines for students apply.