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Student Attendance Policy

Medical students are expected to meet all professional responsibilities, as described in the medical school competencies. Meeting these competencies, including full participation in the learning environment, is important in nurturing professional development. Thus, students are expected to attend all educational activities, and are required to attend, arrive punctually and participate in all Doctoring, clerkship and clinical activities, and all course interactive workshops, conferences, laboratories and exams, and to submit all course assignments by the established deadlines. In understanding that students have different learning styles, lectures will be digitized and made available on-line in the learning management system, to allow students to review these materials outside of class.  

Pre-Clerkship Attendance Policy

While absence or lateness may occasionally be unavoidable, excessive absences or lateness are professional behavior concerns. Recurrent absences from required activities will impact the student’s final grade in the course. Ongoing professional behavior concerns will be referred to the Honor Board or to the Academic Standards and Promotions Committee for further action, and may be reflected in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation (MSPE). 

Two or more absences in one Block, and four or more absences during the academic year, are considered potentially excessive and will be reviewed by the Offices of Medical Education and Student Affairs. 

Required activities include all Doctoring activities and all interactive workshops, conferences, laboratories and exams. Attendance is expected and will be recorded at these events.

If an absence is anticipated, students should email the course coordinator, with a copy to the course director, stating the reason for the absence. Students who unexpectedly miss a required activity should email the course coordinator and course director as soon as possible after the event, stating the reason for the absence. 

Course directors will notify the Offices of the Deans for Medical Education and Student Affairs when a student has a second absence during the block. Any emails from the student addressing the absences will be forwarded. The Deans’ Offices and the course director will determine whether the absences are excused. Examples of excused absences include, but are not limited to:  illness or personal emergency, pre-approved education activity, and presentation or representation in a leadership role at regional or national professional meetings. Other reasons will be considered on an individual basis.

If the Deans’ Offices and course director determine that the absences are not excused, the course director will notify the student that each additional unexcused absence will result in a 2-percentage point deduction from the final course average.  The student will also be advised that additional absences may be reflected in the Medical Student Performance Evaluation as a professionalism concern.

An excused absence does not entitle the student to take additional absences without penalty. Absences do not relieve students from their responsibility to learn course material and complete mandatory assignments. 

Course coordinators will maintain a record of all absences, and will notify the Offices of the Medical Education and Student Affairs when a student has missed a total of 4 required activities in an academic year. If the Deans’ Offices determine that the absences are unexcused, the student will be notified that each additional unexcused absence will result in a 2-percentage point deduction from the final average of the current course. 
 

Lateness

Students are required to sign attendance sheet or electronically log-in when they arrive at a required activity.  Students are expected to be present at the start of all required sessions. 

Students signing in more than 5 minutes after a required activity has started should still sign-in, but should also email the course coordinator, with a copy to the course director, at the conclusion of the session, providing the reason for late arrival. 

The Deans’ Offices and the course director will determine whether a lateness is excused. An unexcused lateness at a required activity is considered an absence, and the policy described in the preceding paragraphs will apply, with the potential for points to be deducted from the final course grade.

The above policy applies to all pre-clerkship courses.  There may be additional course specific requirements/policies.  Please review each course syllabi carefully.  
 

Religious Holiday Accommodation

The following policies regard examination conflicts with religious holidays: 

  1. Each course will state its examination schedule and exemption policy, if any, the first day of class and in writing in the course syllabus. 
  2. Religious holidays will be considered, for purposes of examination, as excused absences. 
  3.  In so far as possible, all course and clerkship directors will do their best to minimize conflict with religious holidays in the establishment of examination schedules.
  4. On clinical clerkships, absences for religious holidays should be discussed with the clerkship directors or site directors. Requests will be accommodated, though if needed, time may have to be made up in order to fulfill the requirements of the clerkship.
     

Absences for Medical Care

Students are encouraged to schedule diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health care at times that do not conflict with classes and clerkships. If it is not possible to avoid such a conflict, the absence will be considered excused if:

  1. Student informs the instructor about the planned absence
  2. Student arranges with the faculty to make up any class/clerkship activities missed
     

In cases of missing classes/clerkships due to the need for emergency or unplanned healthcare, the absence will be considered excused if:

  1. Student informs the instructor as soon after the missed session as possible
  2. Student arranges with the faculty to make up any class/clerkship activities missed
     

Absences During Clinical Clerkships

Since clinical clerkships involve the care of patients, one important area of learning relates to the assumption of responsibility for patient care. A vital component of such responsibility is being available when one is on duty or on call. It is the student's obligation to be informed concerning schedules and duty hours. Towards this end, the policy below has been developed and must be followed for all clerkships - required or elective.

  1. Except for emergencies, absences must be anticipated and approved at least four weeks in advance of the start of the clerkship; requests for excused absences should be made to the clerkship director.
  2. On the first day of each clerkship, the hours of "duty" and "call" will be made clear to each student.
  3. On the first day of each clerkship, the student will be told who is to be informed if the student has an anticipated absence. 
  4. If for any reason a student must unexpectedly be absent from a clerkship, the student must inform the appropriate individuals.  
  5. When a student is absent and has neither obtained permission in advance nor called in to explain the absence, the Office of Associate Dean for Clinical Education will be called by the clerkship director or coordinator so that an effort can be made to locate the student and to be sure that (s)he is safe, or if assistance is required.
  6. A student shall be allowed a maximum of two excused absences per four-week period in any clerkship. 
  7. When a student has had an absence of more than two days per four-week period, regardless of the reason for the absence, the clerkship director, in conjunction with the site director, must decide whether the student has met the minimum standards of knowledge and performance for that clerkship. If the student has not met the minimum standards, the student must make up the time missed as determined by the clerkship director. Note: In these decisions, the students must meet the minimum standards of the clerkship and must demonstrate the level of responsibility expected of the medical profession.
     

Independent Study Policies and Procedures

Independent Study applies to students, (1) who begin coursework in one semester or academic year, but for extenuating circumstances, receive grades of Incomplete, and must complete the coursework in the next academic year; (2) who require additional time for USMLE Preparation; or (3) who want to take extra time for research or other scholarly activities. 

A student must submit a LKSOM Student Change of Status Form requesting Independent Study and state in detail the reason for the request.

Independent Study Guidelines:

  1. Independent Study is granted at the discretion of the Senior Associate Dean for Education or Associate Dean for Student Affairs.
  2. Independent Study shall be limited to one academic year, unless approval for an extension is granted.
  3. The Office of Student Records will register the student into Independent Study and post the appropriate special designation code on the student’s official record. 
  4. Independent Study registration shall: be reflected on the student’s transcript; incur a nominal charge each semester (in lieu of tuition); incur the usual and customary fees, including but not limited to the student activities fee, technology fee, disability and needlestick insurance and health insurance premium, if applicable.  The designation shall permit the student to be considered as a full-time enrolled student in the School of Medicine. 
  5. A student registered for Independent Study shall be considered as making “satisfactory academic progress” for financial aid purposes for one year only. 
  6. Students may receive federal student loans for two semesters of Independent Study. 
  7. Students will not receive any LKSOM scholarships while on Independent Study.
  8. It is the student’s responsibility to understand eligibility requirements and financial implications.

 

Leaves of Absence

A leave of absence is required for any term of the academic year for which a student is not enrolled in classes. Students must complete the LKSOM Student Change of Status Form. Completed forms with required signatures must be submitted in advance of the requested term to the Office of Student Affairs.

A leave of absence is an administrative measure granted at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or the Senior Associate Dean for Education. It is used in situations where it is deemed in the best interest of the student and/or the School that the student's medical education be interrupted. The student may request an extension of a leave of absence for extraordinary, extenuating circumstances. 

Leave of Absence Guidelines:

  1. A leave of absence is granted at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Senior Associate Dean for Education.
  2. A leave of absence may be granted for up to one year.
  3. In certain exceptional circumstances, a two-year leave of absence may be granted. In this case, at the discretion of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Senior Associate Dean for Education, students may be allowed to re-enter the curriculum at the point where their leave of absence began or may be required to repeat some or all of the curriculum previously taken, even if courses were passed. 
  4. No leave of absence can exceed a cumulative total of two years.
  5. The time that a student spends on a leave of absence shall count towards the maximum of six academic years permitted to complete the MD program. 
  6. All conditions pertaining to leaves of absence will be determined by the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Senior Associate Dean for Education.
     

Important Information about Leaves of Absence

  • Financial Aid: Students on a leave of absence are not eligible to receive financial aid.
  • Loan Repayment: Because students on a leave of absence are not considered to be working toward their degree, the grace (deferral) period for loan repayment may lapse during the leave. For loans with the typical six or nine-month grace period, repayment will start after six or nine months of leave and continue through the rest of the leave. For such students, loan repayment will resume immediately after graduation, rather than six or nine months into the first postgraduate year. Students with loans from previous degrees will no longer be in an in-school deferment status and repayment will begin shortly after the leave begins.

 Students must review the above information with a financial aid counselor prior to the leave.

  • Health Insurance: Students on leave are eligible to purchase 4 months of coverage from the first day without coverage to assist with transition of care to a new provider. 
  • Disability Insurance: Students on leave are not eligible to buy disability insurance during their leave.
  • Liability Insurance: Students on leave are not covered by LKSOM liability insurance.
     

Withdrawal

Students who wish to withdraw from LKSOM must complete the LKSOM Withdrawal Form which requires approval from the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Senior Associate Dean for Education. 

Withdrawal Guidelines:

  1. Students who withdraw from the program will have the grade of W (Withdraw) assigned for each course/rotation in progress.
  2. A student who withdraws during a semester may be entitled to a refund of certain charges. A withdrawal also affects financial aid eligibility and could require a return of federal financial aid funds. 
  3. Students will be required to meet with the following offices to ensure there are no balances or holds and to receive information related to their withdrawal:
  • Office of Student Financial Services 
  • Bursar’s Office 
  • Library 
  • Office of Student Records 

Any student who has withdrawn and wishes to be considered for readmission must apply and follow all the processes and procedures of the regular admissions process.


Return to the Medical Education page of the MD Student and Faculty Handbook