Absences/Clinical Responsibilities, Examinations and Extended Delays

If a student cannot take a scheduled examination, complete a required assignment, or attend to required responsibilities because of illness or other exceptional circumstances, it is her/her responsibility to obtain the proper permission from the attending physician or clerkship/course director.

Any request for an Administrative Excuse must be submitted using the online request form at https://www.med.unc.edu/md/forms/request-for-administrative-excuse/view.

Absences/Clinical Responsibilities

The Clinical Rotation Absence Policy is a procedure from the School of Medicine's Educational Policies, Article 5: Responsibilities of Medical Students.

Students who become ill or must be absent from their duties for any reason, for one day or more, must notify the clerkship and elective program manager in the Office of Student Affairs to obtain an administrative excuse. The clerkship and elective program manager will notify the clerkship coordinator, who will notify the appropriate faculty and house staff. All excused absences are subject to being made up at the discretion of the course/clerkship director. In the event of extended absences the Office of Student Affairs will consult with the clerkship/course director. A cumulative absence of two days or more from a four-week clerkship or three days or more during a six or eight-week rotation could result in a grade of Incomplete, Withdraw, Condition or Fail unless the absence is approved ahead of time by the Office of Student Affairs. Personal medical care including preventive care, personal illness, family emergencies, jury duty, the Clinical Practice Examination (CPX), the USMLE Step 2 Clinical Skills or Clinical Knowledge examinations are examples of legitimate reasons for being absent. Students may be excused to meet with their advisor or the financial aid officer. Students with leadership positions in national organizations may be excused so that they can fulfill their leadership responsibilities. Students who are presenting their work at professional meetings may be excused for enough time to travel and present their research but may not be able to attend the meeting in its entirety. Students are expected to use free months for residency interviews, but in the event that an interview is offered during a clinical course, the absence will be granted at the discretion of the clinical preceptor. Visits to family and friends and pre-purchased airline tickets are not example of acceptable reasons for being absent from a clinical rotation. We understand that some family events such as weddings of siblings are important to work-life balance. All requests for absence due to such events must be submitted to the clerkship and elective program manager at least 90 days ahead of time. Whether or not such absences are excused will be based on the course director’s discretion, in concert with the Office of Student Affairs, based on exactly what will be missed, the feasibility of remediation, and the number of excused absences the student has accumulated.

Examinations and Extended Delays in Required Clerkships/Courses

Students seeking an excuse from examinations, required assignments, and/or clinical responsibilities for a period exceeding three days must obtain an administrative excuse from the Director of Academic Assistance Programs, or her designee, prior to the scheduled examination, assignment or date of clinical responsibilities. After consultation with the student, clerkship/course director and the student's class advisor, the Director of Academic Assistance Programs, or her designee, will work with the student and the clerkship/course director to arrange a makeup of the examination, assignment or clinical responsibilities. In instances where a delay may impede the student's normal progress in the curriculum, the student may be required to drop the remainder of the course or clerkship, or take a leave of absence. The Director of Academic Assistance Programs will work with the student and the clerkship/course director to arrange for the student's return to the curriculum.

Special Accommodations:

If you need testing accommodations for the OSCE or any departmental exam, this must be arranged during the first week of the rotation. Please click here for information on arranging accommodations. Special accommodations for the NBME exam should be arranged through the Registrar's Office.