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, and vaccinations), new and follow-up visits for acute illness, ongoing care for chronic illnesses, physical therapy, and counseling and psychological services. Consistent with University policies and the law, students have a right to privacy when seeking care.

Students may attend recurring medical or dental appointments during core clerkships. Clerkship director/s, site director/s, and preceptor/s or patient care teams (depending on the service) must be notified in advance of these planned absences to coordinate time away from the clerkship. Clerkship students have a right to privacy when seeking care and need not disclose the specific type of healthcare that is being sought. A student’s decision to seek healthcare during a clerkship will be managed so as to have no impact on his or her performance evaluation. Any questions or concerns may be addressed to the Assistant Dean for Clerkship Education and/or the Assistant Director of Clerkship Education by email, phone, or in person.

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 2023