4.9: Absences during Clerkships

Students must contact the clerkship director to obtain explicit advance approval for any planned absence from the clerkship. Unanticipated absences for illness or emergency must be communicated to the clerkship director as promptly as possible.

Students are expected to seek necessary health care to maintain their physical and mental well-being. Examples of necessary health care include preventive health services and screening (e.g., annual check-ups, routine dental cleaning, vaccinations), new and follow-up visits for acute illness, ongoing care for chronic illnesses, physical therapy, and counseling and psychological services. Students have a right to privacy when seeking care.

For planned absences related to healthcare, students must contact the clerkship director, site director, and preceptor or patient care team in advance to coordinate time away from the clerkship.  Students need not disclose the specific type of healthcare that is being sought. A student’s decision to seek healthcare during a clerkship should have no impact on his or her performance evaluation.

Students who are absent more than two days during a four- or six-week rotation or more than three days during an eight-week rotation – for any reason - will be required to make up missed time.

Students who will miss more than 20% of the total duration of a clerkship – for any reason – will be asked to reschedule the clerkship.

Failure to communicate with the clerkship director about unavoidable absences is a potential reason for failing the clerkship.

updated August 2013

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