Attendance & Absence Policies

Attendance and Absence Policy for the Fundamentals Curriculum

Students are required to attend all small group sessions, unrecorded lectures and teaching sessions featuring patients (see below). Students are strongly encouraged to attend all other lectures.

Students may miss a required class due to acute illness, a personal crisis (e.g. death in the family), a first-author presentation at a scientific conference or a religious observance as described in the Columbia University Regulation on Religious Holidays. In all such cases, students must email the Course Director and copy psfundamentals@columbia.edu. Students should not schedule personal events that would result in absence from a required curricular event. For any situation that falls outside of these conditions, students should email the Course Director and copy psfundamentals@columbia.edu.

Make up examinations for tests missed due to illness or personal crisis may be given at the discretion of the Course Director at any time during the academic year without the approval of the Fundamentals Faculty Committee.
 
Students may be required to make up any missed required material. If there is concern that absences are affecting the student’s academic performance or that absences represent a breach in professional conduct, the Course Director may refer the student for review with the Fundamentals Faculty Committee.
 
Approved by Fundamentals Subcommittee 8/8/13
Approved by Curriculum and Education Policy Committee 8/23/13 
 
Required Sessions in the Fundamentals Curriculum
  • All small group sessions
  • Team-Based Learning and Just-in-Time Teaching Sessions
  • Foundations of Clinical Medicine "Patient as Professor" sessions
  • Scheduled sessions in the Simulation Center 
  • Others TBD

 

Attendance and Absence Policy for the Clinical Curriculum

On clerkships, students are required to be present every weekday and on weekends if on call or scheduled for clinical duties. On electives, students must be present from the first to the last day of the calendar month, with more variable hours expected (including possible weekend and overnight work) and flexibility for away elective scheduling at the discretion of the Course Director.
 
Students may be absent for acute illness, a personal crisis (e.g. death in the family), a first-author presentation at a scientific conference or a religious observance as described in the Columbia University Regulation on Religious Holidays. As soon as they are able, students must notify the NYP Clerkship or Elective Director and copy psmcy@columbia.edu (for clerkships) or pselectives@columbia.edu (for electives). Approval for all absences is at the discretion of the Clerkship or Course Director.
 
While working in clinical settings, it can be challenging to balance self-care with professional duties. To help maintain their self-care, students who need accommodations to attend medical appointments should notify the Office of Education at psmcy@columbia.edu (for clerkships) or pselectives@columbia.edu (for electives). Students do not need to disclose their specific medical need. The Office of Education will provide a list of students needing accommodations to Clerkship and Elective directors without reference to students’ specific medical need. Students are also asked to alert Clerkship and Elective Directors of their accommodation at least four weeks prior to the start of the clerkship or elective. 
 
Some Clerkship and Elective Directors will also allow a brief absence for a wedding in which the student plays a significant role or a graduation of a close family member, but they are not obligated to do so. In all such cases, students must email the NYP Clerkship or Elective Director and copy the Office of Education (psmcy@columbia.edu or pselectives@columbia.edu) well in advance. If approved, students should advise site directors, attendings, preceptors and house staff of the dates of anticipated absences well in advance so that appropriate arrangements for on-call scheduling, patient care, and makeups can be made.
 
Schedules on clinical rotations including clerkships and electives are governed largely by the patient care duties of students’ teams. In the Major Clinical Year, which excludes Christmas and New Year's, vacations are detailed on students' individual rotation schedules. The only protected time for holidays in the Major Clinical Year is Thanksgiving day and the Friday following Thanksgiving. Holiday schedules during electives are determined by the patient care needs of the specific elective. Students should direct questions about holiday coverage to their clerkship/elective directors.
 
When required, arrangements for make up or repetition of the clerkship or elective will be at the discretion of the clerkship or course director. If students miss 20% or more of a clerkship (e.g., five or more days for five-week clerkships, one or more day for one-week clerkships) or four or more days of an elective, they will receive an incomplete for the clerkship or elective and be required to make up the missed time and possibly the entire course.
 
Revised by MCY Subcommittee 12/17/14, edited for clarity 7/6/17
Approved by Curriculum and Education Policy Committee 12/19/14