Physicians in training at BSOM must meet standards of professional conduct and responsibility. Attendance at all academic activities is one of these standards. Granting an M.D. degree attests to a student's commitment to his/her professional responsibilities. Since the majority of teaching and learning strategies employed by BSOM are engaged learning activities, where much of the learning occurs through peer engagement, missing such activities results in a decrease in collegiality, background and expertise and is an experience that is impossible to replicate at a later date.
Attendance is expected at all scheduled teaching and learning activities, yet we recognize that illness and other important life events happen. Integrity is a core value for physicians so the faculty at BSOM relies on a student's honesty when presenting a compelling reason why they must miss an activity. Further, professionalism is an important WrightCurriculum objective to be exemplified as a medical student at BSOM. Students are adult learners and are to be responsible for their education.
Absence Policy for In-Class Teaching & Learning Activities:
- Students will be permitted to miss a maximum of four (4) in-class graded teaching and learning activities during each academic component [Student Success Policy – Policy for Repeating in the Foundations Phase]. Final points total will be adjusted to exclude these missed activities. For any additional absences beyond the maximum, students will receive a score of 0 for that activity.
- Absences from non-graded, mandatory teaching and learning activities will be tracked within each module. These absences will be noted as a professionalism violation and can result in the failure of a module, to be determined by that module director. Students must notify the module director regarding any absences from non-graded, mandatory activities.
These above mentioned graded activities include TBL, Peer Instruction, WrightQ, and other graded in-class activities within Foundations modules. There will be no make-up allowed for TBL, PI, WrightQ, or other graded in-class activities. For this reason, students may discuss the content of missed activities with other students.
For non-graded, mandatory teaching and learning activities, the specific absence policy is at the discretion of the module director, and repeated absences may result in a referral to the Honor Council or failure of a module.
Students who have repeated absences across multiple courses (greater than four  in a term) will be referred to the Honor Council for unprofessional behavior. Repeated absences may also be addressed in the peer evaluation process.
Absence Policy for Examinations and Quizzes:
Absences for examinations and in-class quizzes will require an excused absence in order to be eligible to make up the examination. Supporting documentation must be provided for an excused absence to be granted (i.e., doctor’s note, obituary notice, conference presentation schedule, etc.).
Circumstances where an excused absence may be granted are as follows:
- Medical illness
- Authorized presentation of scholarly work at an academic conference
- Serving in an official capacity as a representative of the School of Medicine
- An anticipated significant family ceremony that requires a student’s attendance
- A family crisis that requires a student’s presence
- An anticipated religious ceremony or observation (Religious Observances Policy)
- Inclement weather (see student policy guide)
- Unforeseen extenuating circumstances beyond the student’s control
Approved by FCC on May 24, 2017
Revised and approved by FCC on July 2, 2018
Foundations Absence Procedure
The Director of Medical Education (Colleen Hayden) and the Associate Dean for Medical Education (Brenda Roman, MD) in the Office of Medical Education will monitor absences of graded teaching and learning activities. When a student exceeds the maximum number allowed, the student will be referred to the Honor Council, and a narrative comment regarding the absences will be added to evaluations within module(s) when applicable. In the event of serious illness/accident that requires an extended absence that has been authorized by the Offices of Medical Education and Student Affairs, faculty and staff will work individually with students to provide appropriate make-up opportunities.
Procedure for Graded In-Class Teaching & Learning Activities:
PI grades: final points total will be adjusted to exclude the missed PI session, as long as students have not exceeded maximum absences. A student will receive a zero for any sessions missed beyond the maximum allowed.
TBL grades: final points total will be adjusted to exclude the missed TBL, as long as students have not exceeded maximum absences. A student will receive a zero for any sessions missed beyond the maximum allowed.
Other graded in-class activities: final points total will be adjusted to exclude the missed graded activity, as long as students have not exceeded maximum absences. A student will receive a zero for any sessions missed beyond the maximum allowed.
WrightQ: absences exceeding the allotted maximum will be noted in the professionalism section of comments by the WrightQ facilitator.
Procedure for Examinations:
Requests for an excused absence must be made in writing prior to the start of the examination at least thirty (30) days for anticipated absences, and BEFORE the start of the examination for unanticipated absences. A formal absence request form MUST be completed and submitted (a request by email is not an acceptable substitute) along with supporting documentation to the Office of Medical Education, which will then be reviewed by Colleen Hayden and Dr. Brenda Roman for decision to grant an excused (or unexcused) absence per the request.
For any exam with a group component, a student granted an excused absence and ability to reschedule will receive their individual score only as their grade for the entire exam. Repeated requests (beyond one  in an academic year) to reschedule examinations will be referred to the Associate Deans of Medical Education and Student Affairs for further discussion and potential referral to SPC for unprofessional behavior.
Approved by FCC on May 24, 2017
Revised and Approved by FCC on January 3, 2018
Revised and Approved by FCC on July 2, 2018