Attendance Expectations

It is the policy of the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix to hold professionalism as a major tenant, and medical students, as future professionals, should conduct themselves accordingly. This includes arriving to educational activities on time, avoiding disruptions to any educational environment, and using laptops and other electronic devices only for course work during the educational activity. Absences and tardiness negatively impact others. Therefore, attendance, including tardiness, is part of the behavioral assessment of professionalism and poor performance may result in decreased grades and, in severe or chronic cases, lead to referral to the Student Progress Committee.

Although attendance at non-mandatory sessions is not formally tracked, students pursuing the Doctor of Medicine degree have entered a profession in which full participation in the learning environment is an essential component. Throughout students’ undergraduate medical education, they are expected to exhibit professional responsibility by actively contributing to their own learning, to the collective educational community at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, and ultimately to the care of their patients. Therefore, they are responsible for and are encouraged to participate in all course learning experiences.

Mandatory Sessions

Course* syllabi will clearly identify all sessions requiring mandatory, in-person attendance. Failure to attend mandatory sessions will result in an automatic unexcused absence unless approved by the course* director. Students will be responsible for material covered in all sessions.

Students will indicate their presence at mandatory sessions either electronically or by signing an attendance sheet. In the case that a student attended the mandatory session but did not sign in, the block director or their designee will remind the student to make sure that they do this in the future. A student who fails to sign in a second time will receive a Level 1 formative assessment and will need to complete a makeup assignment. A student who fails to sign in a third time will receive a Level 1 summative assessment and will need to complete a makeup assignment.

Procedure to report an emergency absence

The student or his/her representative is expected to contact the course* director or the course coordinator by telephone or email to notify them of the unexpected absence prior to the session, or as soon afterwards as possible. If the student or his/her representative is unable to contact the course director or course coordinator, he/she should notify Office of Student Affairs. It will be the responsibility of this office to pass on the information to the appropriate course* director. The online form must be completed as soon as reasonably possible to formally document the absence.

Procedure to request an excused absence.

The student may request an absence using the online form 30 days in advance of the anticipated absence. Students are encouraged to follow up completion of the form with direct communication with the course* director. The student will provide the requested dates of the absence and the reason for absence. Absences may be granted for one of the following reasons:

  • Presentation at a Professional Conference or participation in a leadership activity (e.g. AMSA committee member) or official representation of The University of Arizona College of Medicine - Phoenix. The number of days excused will be decided by the course* director in consideration of the student’s role and duties at the conference and by considering the requirements and experiences of the course* that would be missed. When completing the online form, the student must outline the details of their role as a presenter or leader. Exceptions to presentation or leadership activities may be considered by the course* director in consultation with Associate Dean, Student Affairs.
  • Religious observance.
  • Extenuating personal circumstances may include significant family or personal events that acutely disrupt the student’s ability to attend to course* responsibilities. However, extended periods of absence may result in a student’s inability to successfully complete the course* as remediation of such absences may not be possible. Such circumstances should be discussed with the Office of Student Affairs.

Additional considerations regarding requests for excused absences

  • In the event the student is granted an excused absence, the course* director will establish guidelines for implementation of make up plans, where available, that are specific for the unique requirements of the course. The implementation guidelines will apply for all students in that course*.
  • In the case where (1) the absence is requested 30 days in advance and (2) the course* director is unable to arrange an alternate make up plan because of a student’s prolonged absence or the course* director’s inability to recreate the needed clinical, lab or didactic material, the course* director may deny approval for the requested absence.
  • Absences for social engagements, fundraising events and non-approved conferences will not be approved as excused absences from mandatory sessions.
  • In the case where (1) an absence is due to illness or unanticipated events (i.e. 30 days advance notice is impossible), the course* director will determine if the requirements and experiences can be made up. The student must contact the course* director as soon as reasonably possible to arrange a makeup plan. If the course* director is unable to arrange a makeup plan because of a student’s absence (based on duration of absence, inability to recreate the needed clinical or didactic material etc.), the course* director, in consultation with the Associate Dean, Student Affairs, may require the student to repeat the entire course.
  • See Doctoring syllabus and addenda for variation in procedure.

Unexcused Absences

Unexcused absences will impact student professionalism competency rating. Students are responsible for all material missed because of the absence with the understanding that some material cannot be reproduced by the course* director.

There will be financial ramifications for unexcused absences in the Doctoring course.

*Any component of the curriculum where a grade is earned.

Curriculum Committee
  • Original Approval Date:
  • Revision/Reaffirmation Date:
  • Current Effective Date: