Foundations Absence Policy

Purpose:

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 VIRTUAL Teaching & Learning Activities:

In response to the virtual learning modality for PI, TBL, and WrightQ sessions, the following provisions have been made to the Foundations and Doctoring Absence Policies regarding student connectivity concerns and partial participation:

  • For students who have connectivity issues during a graded activity (internet access, inability to log into a required application), they must email the module director(s) and the classroom IT support person(s) immediately with details of the connectivity issue for the module director(s) to consider the student’s situation (e.g., consideration to not ‘dock points’ or count as an absence).
    • Students who email after the conclusion of the graded activity will be counted as absent and it will count towards the maximum number of days indicated in the policy associated with the module/clerkship you have the connectivity issue. 
  • For students who participate/’click in’ for any part of a PI or TBL, they will receive the grade associated with the number of answers that were recorded. Students who participate in these graded sessions will not be retroactively granted an “absence” for that grade activity, even if they missed a large portion of the activity. 

Approved by FCC on August 26, 2020

Absence Policy for In-Class Teaching & Learning Activities:

  • Students will be permitted to miss a maximum of four (4) days of graded teaching and learning activities during each academic component [components defined in the 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. (Clinical Medicine module has a separate absence policy; please refer to course management system for that information)
    • Absences exceeding two (2) consecutive days due to extenuating circumstances, such as illness, must be communicated to the Office of Medical Education and will require a doctor’s note. These absences will not be counted against your four (4) days, but final points total will be adjusted to exclude these missed activities.
  • 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.

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 [4] 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
Revised and approved by FCC on May 22, 2019


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 [1] 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 to be Approved by FCC on July 2, 2018

Leaves of Absence

Last edited on 09/14/2020.