Skip to main content

Attendance Policy

Attendance and Professionalism

Breaches of professionalism, including signing in for others, signing in without physically attending, or signing in and leaving (without permission) before completion of a small group or other activity requiring sign in are violations of the School of Medicine Statement of Ethical Principles, Practices and Behaviors and as such are reportable to the School of Medicine Judicial Board http://www.medschool.umaryland.edu/osa/handbook/School-Policies/Statement-of-Ethical-Principles-Judicial-Review-System--By-Laws-of-the-Judicial-Board/. Sanctions from the Judicial Board become a permanent part of the student academic record and will be included in the portions of the Medical School Performance Evaluation dealing with professionalism and adverse actions by the medical school.

The School of Medicine has a zero-tolerance policy regarding academic dishonesty in any form. If a student is found by the Judicial Board to have engaged in academic dishonesty (cheating, plagiarism, misrepresentation of attendance/participation, etc.) in any class, for any reason, that student will receive an automatic grade of “F” for the course/activity in question per Judicial Board by-laws. The Judicial Board and/or Advancement Committee may recommend additional penalties, such as disciplinary probation or dismissal, to the Dean. There will also be a permanent notation in the student’s academic record and MSPE that an “F” was given because of academic dishonesty.

Pre-clinical Attendance

Small group attendance is an integral component of all courses during the first two years. Regular attendance at small group sessions provides students with important learning opportunities not available in lectures or other venues. Furthermore, the success of small groups depends on the attendance and participation of all students. Therefore, students are expected to attend all small groups in each basic science course in Years 1 and 2. Failure to attend at least 80% of required small groups will result in a grade of F for the entire course. Required small groups will be designated at the beginning of each course by the course director. This attendance requirement is independent of the specific contribution of small group attendance and/or participation to the overall course grade. Under exceptional circumstances, the requirement for 80% attendance may be modified for individual students upon approval of both the course director and the Associate Dean for Student Affairs.

When small group attendance is a component of the academic grade, attendance will count at most 10% of the academic grade for each course. In all courses, attendance at required small groups will be documented by roll call, sign-in sheets, electronic sign-in or by completing and submitting a required exercise. Late attendance compromises group dynamics and will be addressed with a student if it becomes a recurring issue. Sign-in begins at 15 minutes prior to the start of the small group, and the grace period to cover extenuating circumstances ends 15 minutes after the start of the small group. Recurrent tardiness may be cause for issuance of a Professional Conduct Evaluation by the course master. Absences from one or more required small groups in courses graded “pass/fail” may result in failure of the course. In courses using letter grades, absences from two or more required small groups will result in a decrement in the academic grade for the course as determined by each course director. In each of these letter-graded courses, a single small group session can be missed without approval of the course director or decrement to the small group attendance portion of the course grade. Excused absences from small group may be granted by the course director in conjunction with the Associate Dean for Student Affairs under the following circumstances:

  • Observance of religious holidays
    • A note from the student's religious institution should be delivered to OSA at least 2 weeks in advance of the anticipated absence
  • Presenting research conducted as a UMSOM student at a recognized national or international meeting
    • Confirmation of the presentation with location, dates and times should be delivered to OSA at least 2 weeks in advance of the anticipated absence
  • Seeking urgent medical care during small group or obtaining medical care available only during the time of the small group activity
    • A note from the health care provider should be delivered to OSA on the first day a student returns to school
  • Bereavement
    • Students are able to use a maximum of 2 days each academic year to attend funeral, memorial or other such services
    • A note requesting the absence, including dates, should be presented to OSA as soon as the student knows of the need
  • Significant medical issues
    • Students are able to use a maximum of 2 days each academic year for medical absences recommended by their health care provider
    • A note from the health care provider indicating the need to be absent from class should be delivered to OSA on the first day a student returns to school.

If a student is absent from small group for any reason, he/she is responsible for the material covered during the session(s). The student should review any posted materials and confer with classmates to understand what was missed during the absence.

 Clinical Attendance

Attendance and punctuality during all aspects of clinical clerkships and rotations are expected and considered an important part of a student's evaluation. Students, like house staff, are expected to fulfill their educational responsibilities and their patient care responsibilities; they are accorded real roles and form an integral part of the hospital team.

In order for a student to be approved for missed days from a clinical rotation, the following guidelines apply:

  1. For anticipated absences, students must request an excused absence from the respective clerkship or rotation director in writing prior to the absence. This should be preceded by consultation with the clerkship/rotation director to discuss appropriateness and urgency of the request for approval to miss time from the clerkship/rotation. Ideally this should be done well in advance to avoid disappointment if the request is not granted. The written request should, at a minimum, include the time requested off, a general reason for the request and the date of the request.
  2. If a student experiences an unexpected emergency, he/she must immediately notify the clerkship/rotation director and the Office of Student Affairs.
  3. The clerkship/rotation director can choose to either approve/ disapprove the request for an excused absence at his/her discretion.
  4. If approved by the clerkship/rotation director, a student may not miss more than one day per 2-week block. Absences beyond this will result in remediation of work at the clerkship/rotation director’s discretion and may include the assignment of additional shifts or the need to remediate the entire rotation.
  5. If approved by the clerkship/rotation director, a student may not miss more than three days per rotation except for interview season when two additional days may be granted for electives (for a total of 5 days) at the discretion of the clerkship/rotation director. Absences beyond this will result in remediation of work at the clerkship/rotation director’s discretion and may include the assignment of additional shifts or the need to remediate the entire rotation.
  6. Absences will be reviewed in an ongoing manner by the Office of Student Affairs. Excessive absences will result in either individualized educational plans for the student or discussion by the advancement committee.

Last Revision: January 18. 2017