Town Hall Q&A 7-26-2021


Can you briefly explain the clinical clerkship excused absence process?  If I have a doctor’s appointment, how do I get excused?  If I need to be absent for a mental health reason, how do I get excused?  What about a religious holiday? 


The clinical clerkship excused absence form can be accessed here:   

The goal of this form is for students to be excused when needed for their health or safety.  Patient care depends upon the provider to be present, and that is why you each carefully consider being absent and its implications on your patients and colleagues.  In addition, medicine is an education that must be experienced and the medical school accreditation body stipulates the number of hours you must be engaged in patient care activities to appropriately learn.  (Of course the pandemic forced schools to adjust the requirements, but we have now returned to pre-pandemic expectations.)  Some educational experiences are unique and difficult to repeat, so being present is an important part of your education and why we ask for advance notice so that we can build a quality educational experience for each of you around your absences.  If you are unexpectedly absent, clerkship directors may require students to make-up clinical experience missed for any excused absence if missing that activity interferes significantly with achieving the learning goals of the clerkship.  There is a request to notify the clerkship director/coordinator at least 2 blocks in advance of your rotation for approval of an excused absence.  Of course if you have an acute illness or emergency, advance notice cannot be provided and we understand that. 


If you have a doctor’s appointment, we ask that you try to schedule it at a time that minimizes ​interruption of your learning and patient-care activities.  Please contact your clerkship director or coordinator to inquire about what times might be most convenient for a health care provider appointment, when possible.  Notify your clerkship coordinator/director with as much advance notice as possible.  If you are asked to produce a note from your health care provider but are uncomfortable doing so, you can provide it to Dr. Rogers or Dr. Chelladurai and we will confirm it to your clerkship coordinator. 

If you need a mental health day, you notify your clerkship coordinator/director of your need with as much advance notice as possible.  This falls under the form’s reason # 2:  illness of self or #7:  unexpected circumstances beyond the student’s control. 

If you have a religious holiday, you should request to use one of your two annual personal days.  Those must be requested at least a month in advance of the first day of the clinical rotation, and are requested using this form:   If you are uncertain of the day, but know it will be within a range, explain that on the form.  You will be approved for the absence, and you can notify us closer to the actual day which one you will use.  Your clerkship coordinator will create a schedule that allows you flexibility so that being absent one of any of those days will not be disruptive to your education or patient care.