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Planned Absence Policy – Clinical Years (CCE and AS)

Students in their clinical years of training serve an important role as part of the team and are expected to fulfill the expectations of the clinical experience to the best of their abilities. The Clinical Years Planned Absence Policy applies to all clinical rotations, including Core Clinical Experiences, Flexible Clinical Experiences, the Interstitial Curriculum and all Advanced Studies (AS) required and elective rotations. Students should follow the policies of the host institution during AS year Away electives.

Students in the clinical years have a minimum of 4 weeks of vacation each year, as listed on the official academic calendar on the Student Affairs website. In addition to scheduled vacation days, a maximum of three planned absence days are allowed during the entire, collective course of the Core Clinical Experiences and Interstitial Curriculum. Planned absences may be requested for personal, professional or academic events. Planned absences may be requested in half-day or full-day increments and will be tracked and approved through the Office of Student Affairs.

During the Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Surgery clerkships, students may use up to two planned absence days during a single clerkship. During the Neurology clerkship, students are only allowed to use one of their planned absence days, given the shorter duration of the clerkship.

Process to request a Planned Absence from a required CCE or AS 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

Approval for planned absences will 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.

Planned absences are not permitted during the Required Advanced Studies Sub-Internships, due to the unique structure and expectations of these experiences, and for the following reasons:

  • The Advanced Studies year has extensive flexibility and time off between
  • Student sub-interns are essential members of the team and sometimes are assigned to teams in place of an intern, to allow the student to develop advanced clinical skills.
  • Absence from the care team has a significant impact not only on the student experience but also on patient care and the function of the team.

Accordingly, students should not enroll in a Required Advanced Studies Sub-Internship during times when planned absences may be anticipated, such as absences for residency interviews or personal/family events.

Absence for Religious Observation, Clinical Years

Clinical students are permitted to request planned absence days for observance of religious holidays, provided the request is made at least 30 days in advance of the planned absence. Students may use their 3 personal days for religious observation, or they may choose to make up the time on a weekend, if this can be arranged with the clerkship/course director. If time away for religious observance is made up, the student will still have 3 personal days available during the CCE year.

Making Up Missed Days During the Clinical Years (CCE and AS)

Each clinical course in the Core Clinical Experiences and Advanced Studies years has an internal policy regarding make-up for missed days, regardless of the reason for the absence (planned or unplanned). Make-up will be required in any of the following circumstances, regardless of the reason for the absence, in order to ensure a consistent and complete educational experience for each student:

  • missing more than two days of the Surgery, Medicine, OB/Gyn, Pediatrics, Family Medicine, or Psychiatry clerkship
  • missing more than one day of the Neurology clerkship (given the condensed nature of this particular clerkship, 3 weeks in duration)
  • missing more than one day of any single Advanced Studies Elective or Required Advanced Studies Rotation
  • missing key, required components of the course, regardless of the amount of missed time

The grade for the clinical course will be recorded as Incomplete until the required make-up is completed. The make-up plans may vary based on course length, activities missed, and availability of additional supervision. The course director will assign make up activities, which may include additional written or clinical work. Rotations may impose a grading penalty for time missed that is not made up, as outlined in the course syllabus/handbook.

Frequent absences beyond those scheduled as noted above may impact a student’s personal educational experience. If time off is needed beyond that provided through vacations and that allowed by this policy, students are encouraged to speak with their Learning Communities Mentor regarding a short leave of absence or interruption of clinical duties.

All absences in the preclinical and clinical years, whether planned or unplanned, will be processed through the Office of Student Affairs for tracking purposes.