Policy Portal

Administrative Policy: Academic

College of Medicine Attendance at Instructional Sessions

Policy Number: 3349-AC-418
Effective Date: 01/01/2019
Updated: 07/26/2019
Reviewed:
Responsible Department:Office of the Dean and Medical Education, College of Medicine
Approval Authority: Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Responsible Office: Office of the Dean and Medical Education, College of Medicine

A. Purpose

To establish a Policy that specifies guidelines for required student attendance at instructional sessions. Related to this Policy, the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) requires that “a medical school provides its medical students with timely access to needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at sites in reasonable proximity to the locations of their required education experiences and has policies and procedures in place that permit students to be excused from these experiences to seek needed care.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, Element 12.4) Further, LCME element 8.7 specifies that “a medical school ensures that the medical curriculum includes comparable educational experiences and equivalent methods of assessment across all locations within a given course and clerkship to ensure that all medical students achieve the same medical education program objectives.” (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, Element 8.7) LCME is also concerned with attendance at mandatory sessions when the need to monitor student time is considered. LCME requires that “a medical school faculty committee responsible for the medical curriculum and the program’s administration and leadership ensure that the development and implementation of effective polices and procedures regarding the amount of time medical student spend in required activities, including the total number of hours medial students are required to spend in clinical and education activities during clerkships. (LCME Functions and Structure of a Medical School, effective July 1, 2018, Element 8.8)

B. Scope

This Policy applies to all required and elective credit-bearing courses contained in the College of Medicine curriculum, M1 though M4 years, in which a Final Grade is assigned to the student and appears on the student’s official transcript.

C. Definitions

  1. Course Director: The appointed faculty member who is responsible for the overall design, conduct, student assessment within and evaluation of a credit-bearing course.
  2. Credit-bearing Course: A course, hereafter referred to as “Course,” offered by the College of Medicine in which a student is enrolled, the course appears on the student’s official transcript with either contact hours or credit-bearing acknowledgment, and a Final Grade is assigned.
  3. Final Grade: A Final Grade is the cumulative assessment of a student’s performance in a single Course. The Final Grade is assigned by the faculty course or rotation director at the conclusion of the course offering. Final Grades are posted to the student record/official transcript by academic year and term. A student’s course grade is considered to be a Final Grade when it is posted in Banner Self-Service, hereafter referred to as “Banner.”
  4. Grade Posting: A student’s grade is considered to be posted when the Final Grade itself appears for the student to view in Banner Self-Service (hereafter referred to as “Banner”). For M3 clerkships and M4 electives, Grade Posting includes the letter grade as well as the final grade report form.

D. Policy Statement

  1. Establishing attendance guidelines for a course is the responsibility of the Course Director with final approval by the Curriculum Management and Assessment Committee (CMAC).
    1. All attempts will be made to establish guidelines for required attendance that are consistent within an academic year.
  2. Course attendance guidelines and requirements must be established in compliance with the elements specified in this Policy including the LCME and University Academic Policies.
  3. Attendance and full participation is expected of students in all courses throughout the M1 through M4 curriculum.
  4. All instances of absence from a mandatory session must be documented by the student using the Absence Notification Form. (Attachment 1)
    1. Corroborating documentation may be requested at the discretion of the Course Director.
    2. The length of absence using the Absence Notification Form is limited. Information about extended absences is provided in the “Interruptions of Education” section of the NEOMED Compass, and is beyond the scope of this Policy.
  5. Students may be excused from instructional sessions to access health services.
    1. Students needing non-emergent health services are expected to schedule such services, whenever possible, outside of scheduled class hours regardless of whether attendance is mandatory or not. Students should inform the course director of any planned absence from a mandatory session due to a health care appointment, giving as much advanced notice as possible.
      1. Students also may request to be excused to accompany a family member who is accessing health services. All other requirements regarding an absence are applicable.
      2. Students who miss a mandatory session because of emergent health care should inform the course director as soon as circumstances allow.
      3. Students should submit an Absence Notification Form whenever they are absent from a mandatory session. The Absence Notification Form documents the details of the absence, dates, and classes or clinical dates missed, and the make-up plan. This is specific for each course, and details are in each course syllabus. Documentation that corroborates the illness or situation may be requested.
  6. Students may request to be excused from a mandatory course activity to present at an academic conference or to fulfill a professional obligation.
    1. At least six (6) weeks in advance of the conference or professional obligation, the student must submit a Request to be Excused to Attend a Professional Conference form with accompanying documentation to the Office of the Dean that will track the request and forward it to the Course Director for consideration. (Attachment 2)
      1. The student must provide evidence of acceptance to present at the conference or of the professional obligation.
    2. Course Director permission to be excused is required.
      1. Course Directors may deny permission for justifiable reasons that can include, but are not limited to, the inability to offer a course activity or an examination at an alternate time, such as a laboratory examination, availably of a comparable/equivalent assessment, or student low performance in the class.
      2. The student should not make travel plans until permission has been granted.
    3. The student should expect to make-up any missed mandatory sessions and missed assignments, at the discretion of the Course Director.
  7. The Course Director is responsible for maintaining any sign-in sheets, or other means of attendance verification for mandatory sessions if student attendance at the session(s) contributes to the determination of a student’s Final Grade.
    1. Verification of attendance must be maintained until the end of the initial grade dispute period that is ten (10) days following the date on which the Final Grade is posted in Banner Self Service.
      1. In instances in which a Final Grade is being disputed, attendance verification must be maintained until the grade dispute has reached a resolution.
  8. Students will be made aware of the Policy via the NEOMED Compass, AIMS and related course syllabi.
    1. All excused and unexcused absences are tracked across the curriculum through monitoring by the Office of Academic Services and the College of Medicine.
    2. After a combined six or more absences for all courses in a single academic year, the absence report will be referred to the Assistant Dean of Students.
  9. Punctuality at all clinical activities, M1-M4, is a matter of conduct and professional commitment. If problems arise over attendance or tardiness during a clinical rotation or activity, students will be directed to meet with the Course Director. Student conduct concerns can negatively impact interim assessment and/or a Final Grade and may be referred to the Committee on Academic and Professional Progress.
  10. NEOMED closing due to inclement weather pertains to Rootstown Campus activities only. All other students are expected to report for clinical activities as scheduled unless otherwise notified. Any student who does not feel he/she can safely reach a clinical site due to inclement weather should notify his/her clinical teaching site and/or PACE sites as well as the relevant course director and coordinator. Students should also fill out an absence notification in the event they cannot attend due to inclement weather: https://www.neomed.edu/sa/forms/
  11. Attendance at Courses and Instructional Sessions M1 through M4
    1. Certain, pre-identified, sessions will have mandatory attendance.
      1. Course Directors are responsible identifying which sessions are mandatory for their course.
      2. Course Directors are responsible for ensuring that all instructional sessions for which attendance is mandatory will be indicated as such in the course calendar in AIMS, and as applicable, in the course syllabus.
        1. Mandatory instructional sessions will be indicated as such in all upper-case letters (“MANDATORY”) as the first word of all session titles in the AIMS calendar.
      3. Mandatory sessions may include, but are not limited to:
        1. Laboratory sessions. These sessions may involve experimental, simulation or observational modalities.
        2. Small/mid-size group sessions. Such sessions require active participation of students with peers and faculty to engage in discussion. Examples include team-based learning, interactive cases, or reflections.
        3. Clinical skills or physical diagnosis.
        4. Patients and Guest sessions. Any session that includes a patient(s) or guests, (e.g., a panel).
        5. Clinical case correlations with or without live patients.
        6. Certain didactic sessions, ex., lectures, may be mandatory when topics are considered to be of general importance by the Course Director(s).
      4. Students are expected to arrive on time to all mandatory sessions.
    2. Consequences for missing a mandatory session.
      1. Accumulating three missed mandatory sessions, excluding examinations/assessments, or tardy notices for a mandatory session (or combinations thereof) will result in a meeting with the Course Director or designee.
        1. Consequences of missing an examination or assessment are addressed in each course syllabus.
  12. Attendance at Clinical Experiences during M3 and M4
    1. Attendance is mandatory for all clinical experiences. Students experiencing an illness, a death in the family, or other serious situation, must contact NEOMED and their Clinical Site Director immediately either directly or through the Chief Student Affairs Officer.
    2. Students may also be excused from clinical experiences for emergent and routine health care needs. For emergent situations, students should use the previously described procedure. Students should schedule routine appointments in such a way to minimize disruption to the clinical experiences giving as much advanced notice as possible to the clinical site director.
      1. Students also may request to be excused to accompany a family member who is accessing health services. All other requirements regarding an absence are applicable.
    3. Consideration for missing clinical experiences may be made for students who have been accepted for a presentation at a professional conference or to fulfill a professional obligation.
      1. The student should not make travel plans until permission has been granted.
    4. Absences must be discussed with the Course Director or Clinical Site Director, and an Absence Notification Form must be completed by the student and submitted to NEOMED in all instances of absence. Documentation that corroborates the illness or situation may be requested. The Absence Notification Form documents the details of the absence, dates, and classes or clinical dates missed, and the make-up plan.
    5. The Course Director or Clinical Site Director determines if the work can be made up. This is specific for each course and is indicated in the course syllabus.
    6. Multiple absences during a course or rotation may result in a final grade of incomplete or failure of the course/experience. Students should refer to the course syllabus or equivalent documentation for specific attendance requirements.
    7. Any planned absences for educational purposes, e.g., a residency interview or a scheduled Step 2 examination, must be documented using an Absence Notification Form and approved by the Core Rotation Director or Elective Director in advance of the time the rotation/elective begins. Corroborating documentation may be required. The Rotation/Elective Director will decide whether to approve the absence.
      1. M4 students may not exceed two (2) days off for an approved purpose for each M4 clinical rotation/elective block.
        1. An exception is made for periods M4-4 through M4-7 during which students are allowed a maximum of four (4) days off per rotation to accommodate the potential for attending residency interviews; the first day cannot be missed.

CONTACT

Lisa Noland
Administrative Specialist
Phone: 330.325.6354
Email: lnoland@neomed.edu

Office of General Counsel

Northeast Ohio Medical University