University of Illinois College of Medicine

Phase 1 Attendance and Late Arrival Policy

Approved by CCIA on 08-01-2018, Revised on 7/31/2019

Attendance as an Element of Professional Engagement

Physicians in practice are expected to engage fully in their professional responsibilities to maintain the trust of the public they serve. Attendance and punctuality are particularly important reflections of this professional engagement. The MD Program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine maintains firm attendance policies for several reasons:

  • Punctuality and participation during medical school instill the habits that learners will need as clinicians in practice;
  • Anticipating and communicating the need to be absent from activities for which learners have responsibility is a demonstration of learners’ good judgment; framing this need in the form of a request (e.g., asking permission) is a demonstration of learners’ respect for the professionals providing learning opportunities;
  • The majority of learner classroom time is in active learning formats. Learner participation is an essential element for both individual learning and learning of peers as collaborative teams;
  • In many learning activities, specific resources (e.g., cadavers) or services (patient instructors, patients) have been provided and scheduled for learners.

The faculty consider learners’ presence at required class sessions to be a fundamental part of the academic expectations of the MD program. As in professional practice, a pattern of tardiness or unexcused absences is not acceptable.

College-wide Policy and Procedures

The Attendance Policy is consistent in the Illinois Medicine curriculum for all campuses and is approved by the College Committee on Instruction and Appraisal. Its companion attendance procedures document also is consistent in the Illinois Medicine curriculum for all campuses and is approved by the Educational Affairs Group Leadership.

Learning activities with required attendance

All learning activities with required attendance are designated as mandatory in the course schedule.

Sessions not listed as mandatory in the schedule do not require attendance but students remain responsible for all material covered during these sessions.

Excused absences (see Attendance Procedures for documentation requirements.)

  • All attendance-related communication from and to individual students must be in writing.
  • The team of curriculum administrators on a specific campus, applying College-wide procedures, determines if students’ absences are to be excused or unexcused.
  • Communication of those decisions to students indicates that the decision was made by the team of curriculum administrators on a specific campus, applying College-wide procedures.

Examples of absence requests that are often approved by the team of curriculum administrators include:

  • illness of student, significant other or family member
  • funeral
  • healthcare provider appointment for student
  • religious holidays* (See UIC Senate Policy on Religious Holidays)
  • own wedding
  • jury duty
  • court date
  • student representation on a College of Medicine Committee

Examples of absence requests that may be approved by the team of curriculum administrators include:

  • illness of a friend
  • healthcare provider appointment for significant other, family member
  • another’s wedding (maximum of two days based on location and date of wedding)
  • presenting at or attending a medical conference or other professional organization meeting, only with prior approval by the campus team of curriculum administrators
  • Introduction to Patient Care (IPC) Visit if no other scheduling options are available
  • other circumstances of an extreme, unanticipated, and compelling nature

Unexcused absence

Failure to obtain prior permission for any absence will result in an unexcused absence.

Reasons for absence that are considered unexcused:

  • employment conflict
  • missed ride
  • missed bus/train
  • overslept/forgot to set alarm
  • out of town
  • listed wrong date on personal calendar
  • travel booked before schedule is finalized
  • absence request not made in advance or absent despite request not being approved.

Phase 1 courses Blocks 1 – 7: Implications of unexcused absences

For Block courses, professional engagement points are part of the grade composition. One Professional Engagement point will be lost for each unexcused day of absence.

Exceeding the specified number of unexcused absences posted below results in a failing course grade regardless of performance on other course grade elements.

Blocks 1 – 7 unexcused absences allowed before course failure:

  • three unexcused absences within a single Block

Phase 1 DoCS courses: Implications of unexcused absences

For the longitudinal DoCS course, exceeding the specified number of unexcused absences posted below results in a failing course grade regardless of performance on other course grade elements.

DoCS 1 unexcused absences allowed before course failure:

  • three unexcused absences in the Fall term
  • two unexcused absences in the Spring term
  • one unexcused absence in the Summer term

DoCS 2 unexcused absences allowed before course failure:

  • three unexcused absences in the Fall term
  • one unexcused absence in the Spring term

Phase 1 courses Blocks 1 – 7 and DoCS: Implications of failure to sign in

Failure to sign in to a mandatory session without excusal will be considered an unexcused absence (subject to implications in the previous section).
Exceptions:

  • Twice per Block: failure to sign in will NOT result in a deduction of an unexcused absence.
  • Twice per term for DoCS: failure to sign in will NOT result in an unexcused absence.

A pattern of not meeting punctuality expectations may impact a student’s ability to progress through the program. Curricular administration will meet with students to address these areas of concern.

Phase 1 courses Medical Colloquia, Synthesis Weeks, Synthesis Capstone Block 8, and Transition to Clerkships (TTC): Implications of unexcused absences and missing assignments

Block courses and DoCS have a variety of assessments (e.g., quizzes, final exam, or summative simulation exam) and, for Blocks, part of their grade composition is professional engagement points.

The other courses in Phase 1 (Medical Colloquia, Synthesis Weeks, Synthesis Capstone Block 8, and Transition to Clerkships) have course expectations based on attendance, participation, and completion of assignments. Performance in these courses is assessed primarily on demonstrations of professional behavior. For these courses, students are expected to attend each session and complete each assignment.

Unexcused absences or failure to complete assignments may result in a failing grade for the course.

Late Arrival to an Exam for any course in Phase 1

Students are expected to arrive at or before the scheduled start time of an exam. Late arrival to exams is disruptive to faculty, staff, and classmates, and will be noted. Patterns of late arrival to exams will result in a meeting with curricular administration.

Students who arrive late but within 20 minutes of the scheduled start of an exam are still eligible to sit for the exam.

Example: An exam is scheduled to start at 8:00am. A student whose arrival was delayed may sign in at the check-in table as late as 8:20am and sit for the exam.

Students who arrive more than 20 minutes late will be directed to the appropriate exam administrator. Students without an excused absence will receive a score of zero for the exam. Students with an approved excusal will be rescheduled to take the exam at a later date.

A pattern of not meeting punctuality expectations may impact a student’s ability to progress through the program. Curricular administration will meet with students to address these areas of concern.