Attendance Policy in Clerkship

Senate Request Number: 2019:UGRD-MED:11

Approved by the Undergraduate Curriculum Committee:    May 23, 2019

Approved by Faculty Council:    June 4, 2019

 

Effective Date:  September 2019

 

A. PREAMBLE

MANDATORY ATTENDANCE

  • All absences from mandatory activities must be “excused”. “Excused” is defined as being approved by the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Office.
  • All absences will be recorded.
  • Attendance is mandatory for all clinical placements (e.g. including but not restricted to: Transition to Clerkship, Core Rotations, Electives, and Selectives) during UGME Year 3 and UGME Year 4, including orientation sessions and didactic teaching (e.g. Problem Assisted Learning, Academic Days, Skills Sessions). Every absence must be excused and may require the completion of assignments and/or further clinical work to meet the necessary rotation objectives/standards at the discretion of the Rotation Director.

UNEXCUSED ABSENCE

  • An unexcused absence is defined as an absence without approval by the UGME Office.
  • An unexcused absence will be considered a lack of professionalism and will be brought to the attention of the Vice-Dean of the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Office or a delegate and may be grounds for failure.

BLACKOUT PERIODS

  • Day of an examination
    • The use of Personal Days (PD), Conference Days (CD), or Medical Leadership Days by a student is NOT permitted on the day of an examination.
  • Four (4) days prior to an examination
    • The use of Personal Days (PD) or Conference Days (CD) by a student is NOT permitted during the four (4) days prior to an examination.

UTILIZING SEQUENTIAL DAYS FOR EXCUSED ABSENCES

  • The maximum number of sequential days that may be used for Conference Days is THREE (3).
  • The maximum number of sequential days that may be used for Personal Days is TWO (2).
  • The maximum number of sequential days that may be used for a combination of Conference Days and Personal Days is THREE (3).

MAXIMUM NUMBER OF STUDENTS RECEIVING APPROVAL FOR EXCUSED ABSENCES

  • For any specific date within a rotation, a maximum of TWO (2) Anglophone stream students and ONE (1) Francophone stream student in a given Clerkship Rotation group will be granted approval of a CD, PD or Medical Leadership Day.
  • When there are multiple students requesting the same day of absence, approval will be granted on a first come, first served basis as determined by the date that the UGME receives the request through the Absence Request Electronic System.

MAXIMUM CUMULATIVE NUMBER OF ALLOWABLE EXCUSED ABSENCES

  • The cumulative maximum number of days of excused absences per year is TEN (10). The names and files of students exceeding ten (10) absences will be brought to the attention of the Clerkship Director. Cases will be reviewed by a committee. Consequences for exceeding the maximum number of allowable absences may include, but not limited to, further assignments, completion of mandatory requirements, remediation assignments and/or course failure.
  • Any staff or faculty member concerned about a student with fewer than ten (10) absences may bring this to the attention of the Clerkship Director. These concerns may include concerns with the student’s clinical performance and/or professionalism.
  • To be eligible for academic credit, excused absences cannot exceed 20 percent of a clinical rotation.
    • In Year 3, absence from a rotation of more than 20 percent of that clinical rotation will require repetition of that rotation prior to commencing fourth year.
    • In Year 3, absence of more than 20 percent of two clinical rotations will require repetition of those clinical rotations during an additional academic year according to the Student Promotion Executive Committee (SPEC) decision.
    • In Year 4, absence from a clinical rotation for more than 20 percent of that rotation will require repetition of that rotation prior to graduation. If that is not feasible, then the student may be required to repeat Year 4.
    • In Year 4, absence of more than 20 percent of two clinical rotations will require repetition of Year 4.

CLERKSHIP EXAMINATIONS

  • Clerkship examinations include end of rotation written examinations and OSCEs.
  • Approval to defer an examination may only be granted by the Vice-Dean, UGME.
  • Students who complete an examination during the period of disability specified on the medical certificate cannot later plead illness to appeal their examination results.

 

B. ABSENCES FOR PERSONAL DAY

  • Definition:   “Personal Day” (PD) is defined by an excused absence to allow the student the ability to attend personal activities that would otherwise not be excused (e.g. weddings, special events).
  • Number of Personal Days per Academic Year
    • Students are allocated two (2) Personal Days (PD) per clinical academic year in the third UGME academic year.
    • Students are allocated two (2) Personal Days (PD) in the fourth UGME academic year.
  • Blackout periods
    • A Personal Day (PD) cannot be taken during the defined blackout periods.
  • Timing of the requests
    • Students must submit their request to the UGME Office for a Personal Day a minimum of SIX (6) weeks prior to the start of the rotation.
  • Notification
    • It is strongly recommended that students also inform the team (physician/supervisor and/or resident) with whom they are working if they are not to be present for their clinical duties to ensure that the care of their patients are handed over adequately.

 

C. ABSENCES FOR PRESENTING AT MEDICAL CONFERENCES

  • Definition: “Conference Day” (CD) is defined by an absence because the student is presenting at an approved medical conference. The student must be the presenter (podium or poster presentation) to be eligible to utilize a Conference Day.
  • Number of Conference Days per academic year
    • Students are allocated three (3) Conference Days per academic year in the third and fourth year of their program.
    • Students who are presenting research at more than one conference per academic year may be granted one (1) more day per academic year.
  • Blackout periods
    • Conference Day(s) cannot be taken during the defined blackout periods.
  • Timing of the request
    • Students must submit their request to the UGME office for Conference Day(s) a minimum of six (6) weeks prior to the start of the rotation. The request must be accompanied by the following:
      1. a letter of acceptance from the conference;
      2. the dates of the conference;
      3. a copy of the abstract which includes a list of the authors.
  • Notification
    • It is strongly recommended that students also inform the team (physician/supervisor and/or resident) with whom they are working if they are not to be present for their clinical duties to ensure that the care of their patients are handed over adequately.

D. ABSENCES FOR MEDICAL ILLNESS (“SICK DAYS”)

  • Definition: “Sick Day” is defined as an absence due to medical illness.
  • Notification of absence: The following people must be notified by the student/delegate of the use of a sick day:
    • The UGME Office
    • The hospital coordinator for the perspective rotation
    • It is strongly recommended that students also inform the team (physician/supervisor and/or resident) with whom they are working if they are not present for their clinical duties to ensure that the care of their patients are handed over adequately.
  • Medical note requirement
    • Blackout periods: Regardless of the number of days of absence, students that are sick during the defined blackout periods must submit a medical note to the UGME Office within 24 hours.
    • Periods other than the blackouts: If more than two (2) consecutive absences for medical illness (i.e. Sick Days) are requested, a medical note must be submitted to the UGME Office within 24 hours.

E. ABSENCES FOR RELIGIOUS HOLIDAYS

  • Students must comply with the University of Ottawa regulations, section 15. Clerkship students must send their request to UGME Office at least SIX (6) weeks prior to the start of the rotation to facilitate the planning of clinical duties.
  • Notification
    • It is strongly recommended that students also inform the team (physician/supervisor and/or resident) with whom they are working if they are not to be present for their clinical duties to ensure that the care of their patients are handed over adequately.

F. ABSENCES FOR MEDICAL LEADERSHIP REPRESENTATION

  • Students who are representing the Faculty of Medicine in an approved leadership role (e.g. Aesculapian Society duties; CMFS duties) may be granted excused absences on a case-by-case basis. Requests for absences due to approved leadership activities must be submitted six (6) weeks prior to the start of a rotation.
  • Blackout periods
    • Excused absences for Medical Leadership Representation will NOT be granted during exams.

G. LEAVES OF ABSENCE

  • SHORT TERM LEAVE: A short-term leave is defined as a pre-approved absence lasting less than 20% of a course. Students may be permitted to pursue the UGME program within the same academic year.  
  • LONG TERM LEAVE: A long-term leave is defined as a pre-approved absence which results in the repetition of the current academic year.

Acceptable reasons for leave:

  • Short and long term leaves of absence may be granted only in exceptional circumstances such as:
  • Maternity leave, parental leave;
  • Reasons of health (self, family);
  • Compelling problems of a personal nature (e.g. death of a family member, separation of divorce).
  • Approval of Short and Long Term Leaves
    • SHORT TERM LEAVE OF ABSENCE (STLA)
      • Students must submit their request for a STLA to the Office of Student Affairs.
      • A STLA is reviewed by the Student Promotion Executive Committee (SPEC).
    • LONG TERM LEAVE OF ABSENCE (LTLA)
      • Students must submit their request for a LTLA to the Office of Student Affairs.
      • A LTLA is reviewed by the Student Promotion Executive Committee (SPEC) and approval may or may not be granted by the committee.

Reintegration in UGME Program after Leave of Absence

  • The goal of the reintegration plan is to provide the student a good opportunity to meet the UGME program objectives.
  • When a student is ready to return from a LTLA, the following will occur:
    • SPEC will determine the re-entry point to the curriculum.
    • A plan will be formulated for reintegration which may include but is not limited to: plan(s) of assessment, accommodation(s), remediation, repetition of curriculum elements, repetition of clinical rotations, mandated health programs and examinations. 
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