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Planned Absence Policy – Discovery Phase Curriculum

The Discovery Phase curriculum offers a great deal of flexibility, as learners have the option to participate in many classes in person or remotely through lecture capture. However, some sessions do have required attendance. Required sessions will be noted on the curriculum calendar at the beginning of the semester. These requirements are in place due to the specific content or nature of the material being taught, such as laboratories, or clinical experiences with patient interviews.

Process to request a Planned Absence from a required preclinical curricular activity

  • Requests must be submitted at least 30 days in Requests made with less than 30 days’ notice may be denied other than for unusual circumstances or medical need.
  • Requests must be submitted using the Planned Absence Request Form found on the Office of Student Affairs Policies page
  • Requests will be reviewed and approved by the Office of Student Affairs, in conjunction with course leadership.
  • Student Affairs will notify the student if the request is approved or
  • A TOTAL of 3 days of planned absence time may be used in the discovery phase

Approval for planned absences may not be granted if they impact key, required course components or if they create undue hardship for the course, at the discretion of the course director.

Examples: teaching sessions with patients, laboratory teaching sessions, other structured teaching experiences, end of block exams or major assessments

Some sessions cannot be rescheduled and an equivalent makeup assignment may not be feasible due to the nature of the educational experience. Accordingly, in some cases, absence may be granted with loss of points for the session, at the discretion of the course director.

Students with an Approved Absence from a required teaching session may be required to submit makeup assignments for the session and should discuss this with the course director. The grade for the preclinical course will be recorded as Incomplete until the required make-up is completed.

Depending on the nature of the session, options for rescheduling some examinations may only be offered during vacations/breaks.

Examples: required small group/laboratory examinations.

Options for the timing of rescheduled exams (choice is at the discretion of the course director)

  • During a designated WIN week
  • On the first date/time close to the scheduled exam on which the student has no formal curriculum sessions/events scheduled
  • During another courses retest period (WIN week), during the Step 1 study period, or in the summer break.
  • At an alternate site with a proctor approved by the course directors (note: this option will be limited to unusual circumstances)

Absence for Religious Observation, Preclinical Years

Preclinical students will be excused from exams or required sessions on days of religious observance and must follow the process above for rescheduling missed exams/sessions.