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School of Medicine

Attendance/Participation and Absences

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During all phases of training (Foundational and Clinical), students may be excused for necessary health care services to maintain their physical and mental well-being (such as preventive health services, care for chronic illnesses, physical therapy and counseling / psychological services).

Students must communicate planned absences to the course coordinator, course director or other supervisors as outlined in the guidelines for Foundational Sciences Curriculum, Clinical Curriculum and Clinical Rotation Absence Guidelines sections below. Students need not disclose the specific type of healthcare that is being sought. A student’s decision to seek healthcare during a foundational or clinical course should have no impact on his or her performance evaluation or grade for the course.

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Foundational Sciences Curriculum

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Medical students are expected to remain in academic residence during the published academic terms (i.e., reside in the Houston vicinity). Personal time away from Baylor College of Medicine School of Medicine, within the timeframe of required academic activities without prior approval, is considered a breach of professionalism. As described in the Student Handbook, personal time away during an academic term will require prior approval from the Dean of the Medical School or designee and will not be granted without cause (e.g., emergencies, natural disaster, and illness). Requests for planned absences, within a term, must be submitted for consideration no later than two weeks prior to the start of the term.

Furthermore, while a student is actively enrolled in the School of Medicine, attendance and participation in SOM courses takes precedence over all other obligations including but not limited to enrollment in courses outside the SOM (both online and in person) and SOM committee participation.

Foundational sciences courses entail a variety of educational experiences, each with its own attendance requirement. Unless otherwise specified in a Course Overview Document, attendance at lectures is recommended and expected but not is not mandatory. However, streaming services of individual classes is not an enumerated right. Technical difficulties or system failures may occur, and it is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with that content if they choose not to attend a lecture session.

Educational experiences such as laboratories, active learning sessions, team-based learning sessions, live patient sessions (even when occurring in a large lecture hall), clinical preceptorship experiences, and other small group learning activities require in person attendance. Active learning sessions – such as those involving patients or faculty panels, may change on short notice that is not predictable. It is the expectation that students, unless they have already received prior approval to be absent, will be available for any rearranging of sessions in a course within their academic residence.

Course directors may factor satisfactory attendance in deriving a student’s final course grade and may limit absences. The criteria for satisfactory attendance and the impact of attendance on a student’s final course grade are specified in the Course Overview Document of each course.

Revised April 18, 2019.

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Clinical Curriculum

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Students who register for Clinical Rotations (Clerkships, Sub-Internships, Selectives, and Electives) are expected to honor their commitment to the course. A student desiring to change their schedule must adhere to the add/drop policy (outlined under academic policies). Clinical Rotation (including research) may be added four weeks prior to the start of the rotation. Clinical rotations must be dropped six weeks prior to the start of the rotation. Students must complete the requisite form, which must be submitted to the Office of the Registrar prior to the start of the rotation.

Attendance and full participation during all aspects of Clinical Rotations, Electives, DDASH, APEX and any other clinical year(s) required course are expected and considered an important part of the student's responsibility and education. Furthermore, attendance and participation are both important components in the evaluation of student performance.

Students form an integral part of the hospital or office team and are accorded real roles based on the expectation that they will be there to fulfill their educational and patient care responsibilities. For this reason, it is expected that absences from clinical rotations will be minimal and only for legitimate reasons that are described below (Clinical Rotation Absence Guidelines).

All students are required to be present on the first day of a Clinical Rotation. Participation in the orientation session of a new Clinical Rotation is mandatory since important information regarding Clinical Rotation expectations and procedures is covered on the first day. Course expectations and attendance requirements for all Clinical Rotations are determined and recorded by the department. In addition, students are expected to remain available to discharge clinical responsibilities until 5 p.m. of the final day of the applicable quarter, term, month or two-week selective.

In addition to following the Guidelines on Clinical Rotation Absences, the student must provide a written physician's note to the Office of Student Affairs for medical absences. This letter should not contain Private Medical Information.

Religious Holiday and Activity Absence Guidelines

Students will not be scheduled to perform clinical duties on official Baylor College of Medicine holidays.

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Clinical Rotation Absence Guidelines - Clerkships, Sub-Internships, Selectives, and Electives (revised Aug. 4, 2017)

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An excused absence is one in which the student has a legitimate reason for being absent and he/she obtains appropriate permission, in advance, from the course director for the days in question.

Students must inform the course coordinator, the course director, and the appropriate attending physician or chief resident on the team to which they are assigned for any scheduled absences and any absence arising from an emergency situation unless physically unable to communicate. Failure to communicate an absence as directed may be considered an unexcused absence and may be grounds for failure of the rotation.

Reasons for excused absenteeism may include:

Medical illness experienced by the student (physician note required on the 3rd day of illness)

Personal crisis (e.g., death or illness of immediate family member)

Child birth (maternity and paternity policy of the College takes precedence)

Presentation at professional meetings (up to two days with attendance up to department's discretion)

Residency Interviews

Absences NOT covered by the categories above (such as attending a wedding or graduation of a friend or family member) may or may not be granted following review by the course director. It is likely that students will be required to make up any time for such absences.

An unexcused absence is any absence in which the student fails to gain prior permission or falls outside of the guidelines outlined above for excused absences. Unexcused absences are grounds for failure of a clinical rotation and should be reported to the Dean of Student Affairs.

NOTE: Frequent absences, regardless of the reason, may be used as one component in calculating a student's overall grade, and may result in grades of marginal pass or fail. Misrepresenting absences or absence requests is a breach of professionalism and is grounds for failure.

Students who miss more than the minimum allowed absences may still pass the rotation if: a) performance on days attended is satisfactory; AND, b) students make-up the excess days missed in a manner acceptable to the course director. Make-up time will not exceed the number of days missed.

Excused Absences and Remediation

Each clinical rotation allows a limited number of excused absences based on the length of rotation. Refer to the table below to determine the number of excused absences allowed before remediation is required.

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Excused Absences and Remediation

Clinical rotation

Excused absences

Resulting consequences

1 week

0.5 days

No remediation

 

1 day

Remediation required

 

>1 days

Repeat the rotation or sub-rotation

2 weeks

1 day

No make-up time

 

2 days

Remediation required

 

>2 days

Repeat the rotation or sub-rotation

4 weeks

1-2 days

No make-up time

 

3-4 days

Remediation required

 

>4 days

Repeat the rotation or sub-rotation

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Student Handbook

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Looking for a topic in the handbook? See our table of contents for links to all handbook pages.

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Contact Information

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General contacts, office numbers, foundational sciences and clinical academic numbers.

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Principle

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The purpose of this principle is to acknowledge respect for the religious diversity of Baylor College of Medicine students by providing opportunities, where possible, for accommodation in cases where genuine conflicts exist between students’ religious beliefs/practices and educational activities. Such accommodations must honor the primacy of our commitment to patient care and not unduly burden faculty or disproportionately affect the general student population involved in the affected educational activity.

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Applicability

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These guidelines apply to BCM students who, because of religious beliefs or practice, believe that they are unable to attend a class, participate in any examination, or in other ways fulfill an educational requirement of any course, clerkship or other required activity.

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Applicability

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These guidelines apply to BCM students who, because of religious beliefs or practice, believe that they are unable to attend a class, participate in any examination, or in other ways fulfill an educational requirement of any course, clerkship or other required activity.

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Guidelines

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Recognizing that the religious diversity of our students may result in conflicts between students’ religious beliefs/practices and certain educational activities, BCM will attempt to make accommodations that honor the primacy of its commitment to patient care and do not unduly burden faculty or disproportionately affect the general student population involved in the affected educational activity.

Students who believe they have a need for religious accommodation during any course, clerkship or other required educational activity shall notify the relevant course/clerkship faculty, as soon as possible, after an impending conflict becomes apparent – preferably prior to or at the beginning of the course, clerkship or other activity. If it is established that there is a legitimate need for the affected student(s), where possible, the student(s) shall be provided reasonable accommodation, including the opportunity to make up the academic activity in conflict.

View the fillable student religious accommodation request form.

Form evaluation: From BCM Policies and Procedures 23.2.01 - Respectful & Professional Learning Environment Policy: Standard for Student Conduct and College Oversight

VI. Procedures for Implementation and Review - B. ii.

The recipient will review the form and may contact the requestor or relevant administrators (e.g., a course director or professor) to gather additional information before making a determination, if needed. Requests for religious or medical accommodations may be denied in the event of undue hardship to BCM and its operations (e.g., risk to patient or Learner safety or fundamental alteration of program or curriculum requirements).

If the dean or designee or other relevant administrators assert that the accommodation poses an undue hardship to the school or program or its operation (e.g., conflicts with applicable accreditation standards), the assertion must be based on reasonable grounds (e.g., best practices or specific hardship to the program) and documented in writing. The school dean or designee is responsible for consulting with the Office of the General Counsel to work to resolve the matter in accordance with applicable laws and College policies.

 

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Student Handbook

Content

Looking for a topic in the handbook? See our table of contents for links to all handbook pages.

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Contact Information

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General contacts, office numbers, foundational sciences and clinical academic numbers.