Policy

It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix that all clerkship experiences are mandatory and any absences must be recorded and are not to exceed 0.5 days per week on average. Exceptions to this may be considered in consultation with the Clerkship Director and the Associate Dean, Student Affairs.

Excused absences will be remediated as deemed appropriate by the Clerkship Director. To demonstrate that a student has remediated an absence, students will be expected to know the information and follow the requirements found in each clerkship syllabus as presented by the Clerkship Directors during orientation.

Each Clerkship Director, in consultation with the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, is responsible for establishing a procedure for adhering to this policy.

Clerkships include:

  • Emergency Medicine
  • Family, Community & Preventive Medicine
  • Internal Medicine
  • Neurology
  • Obstetrics & Gynecology
  • Pediatrics
  • Psychiatry
  • Surgery

Excused Absences

An excused absence may be granted for one or more of the following reasons:

  • Presentation at a Professional Conference or Leadership Activity (e.g., as an AMSA Committee Member) on behalf of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix – The number of days excused will be decided in consideration of the student’s role and duties at the conference and the requirements and experiences of the clerkship that would need to be remediated.
  • Religious observance – Students may request an excused absence for religious observances, which will be considered in accordance with law and University policy.
  • Extenuating Personal Circumstances – Extenuating personal circumstances may include, without limitation, significant family or personal events that acutely disrupt the student’s ability to attend to clerkship responsibilities. However, extended periods of absence may result in a student’s inability to successfully complete the clerkship, as remediation of such absences may not be possible.
  • Health Care Maintenance Appointments – Students may request an excused absence for health care maintenance appointments such as annual physical examinations with a primary care physician or a routine dental appointment. Experiences missed will need to be remediated.
  • Personal Illness, injury or disability – In the case of a student’s own illness, injury or disability, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that the appropriate parties, including both the site and the home clerkship office (typically the departmental office), are informed of the absence in a timely manner. If the student is seriously ill (injured, etc.), a family member or friend can inform the appropriate parties. Please see the Procedures section for the appropriate parties who must be informed. The Office of Student Affairs must also be notified.

Remediation of Excused Absences

  • The Clerkship Directors will establish guidelines for implementation of remediation plans that are specific for the unique requirements of their clerkship. The implementation guidelines will apply for students at all sites within that clerkship.
  • In the case where (1) an absence is requested 30 days in advance and (2) the Clerkship Director is unable to arrange an alternate remediation plan because of a student’s prolonged absence or the Clerkship Director’s inability to recreate the needed clinical or didactic material, the Clerkship Director may deny approval for the requested absence.
  • In the case where (1) an absence due to illness or unanticipated events (i.e., 30 days advance notice is impossible) and (2) the Clerkship Director is unable to arrange an alternate remediation plan because of a student’s prolonged absence, or the Clerkship Director is unable to recreate the needed clinical or didactic material, the Clerkship Director, in consultation with the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, may require the student to repeat the entire clerkship.

Unexcused Absences and Consequences of Unexcused Absences

  • Any non-emergency absence that is taken without prior notification by the student, the student’s designee or permission of the Clerkship Director is considered an unexcused absence and will be treated as an act of unprofessional behavior which will be included in the student’s final assessment.
  • An unexcused absence from the clerkship didactics may be noted in the final assessment and may affect the student’s final grade.

Holidays

  • Students will observe the holiday schedule of the University of Arizona. A student may request to work on a day designated as a holiday by the University of Arizona. Upon approval by the Clerkship Director in advance, the holiday day may be substituted for a regular non-holiday work day.

Inability to Participate in Clerkship

  • If a student is unable to participate in a clerkship because of his or her own serious illness, injury or disability, or other personal reasons, he or she should be apprised of the College of Medicine – Phoenix’s Leave of Absence Policy and the University’s withdrawal policies.
  • Students with disabilities who require reasonable accommodation(s) must register with the University’s Disability Resource Center in accordance with procedures outlined and work with that office to effect such accommodations.

Requesting an Excused Absence

  • To request an excused absence, except in cases of personal illness, injury, disability or emergency, students must request the absence from the Clerkship Director through the electronic absence request system 30 days in advance of the anticipated absence. The reasons for the absence and the date(s) of the absence must be included in the request.
  • If a student requests an excused absence due to an unanticipated illness or injury, he or she will contact the Associate Dean, Student Affairs and the Clerkship Director that day, unless unable to do so because of such illness or injury. It is expected that the student reports their absence as soon as physically possible.
  • The Associate Dean, Student Affairs will notify the student and the Clerkship Director of their decision regarding the requested absence.

Attendance Policy for Electives and Selectives

Electives and Selectives include:

  • All electives
  • Critical Care Selective
  • Sub Internship Selective

Refer to the appropriate syllabus for specific attendance guidelines.

1. Attendance is required at all activities identified for an elective and selective course. The student must complete the amount of work in the course that matches the number of credit hours established for the elective/selective. The Course Director must approve any absence. The student should contact the Course Director in advance of the absence whenever possible

Even if a request is made in advance, approval of an absence is not guaranteed. The Course Director may refuse to excuse an absence in the case where alternative experiences/work cannot be arranged such that the student cannot accomplish the course objectives. If a student has an excused or unexcused absence, the student must arrange with the Course Director to complete an equivalent amount of work at an alternative time.

Unexcused absence(s) may result in a failure of the course at the discretion of the Course Director. The criteria for failure due to unexcused absence(s) will be communicated to students and written in course materials.

2. Regardless of the reason, a student must follow the established procedures for obtaining an excused absence and arranging for the work to be completed, and notify the Course (Elective/Selective) Director, Director of Electives, and Associate Dean, Student Affairs.

Acceptable reasons for excused days of absence include the following: 

  • Interviews for residency – It is expected that students use discretionary days to schedule interviews. However, circumstances may occur such that an interview is unavoidable during an elective (particularly for the months of November, December and January).
  • Presentation at a Professional Conference or Leadership Activity (e.g., as an AMSA Committee Member) on behalf of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix.
  • Religious observance – Students may arrange for an absence for religious observances, which will be considered in accordance with law and University policy by contacting the Associate Dean, Student Affairs.
  • Extenuating Personal Circumstances – Extenuating personal circumstances may include, without limitation, significant family or personal events that acutely disrupt the student’s ability to attend to rotation responsibilities. The student should contact the Course Director as soon as possible and notify the Director of Electives and Associate Dean, Student Affairs.
  • Diagnostic, Preventive and Therapeutic Health Services – In the case of a student’s own illness, injury or disability, it is the student’s responsibility to ensure that course director is informed of the absence in a timely manner. If the student is seriously ill (injured, etc.), a family member or friend can inform the electives director.
  • Holiday schedule – Fourth-year students participating in electives/selectives will observe the holiday schedule of the institutions of their rotations.
Curriculum Committee:
Approved 06/12/2018