Academic Participation and Attendance Procedure for Hershey Campus

Policy Name:

Academic Participation and Attendance Procedure

Phase 1 (Foundations of Medicine)

Penn State College of Medicine, Educational Affairs

Student Handbook: Policies, Procedures, and Services

Policy Number:  CA-15

Authorized: Terry Wolpaw, M.D.

Vice Dean for Educational Affairs

 

 Approved: Terry Wolpaw, M.D.

Vice Dean for Educational Affairs                       

 
Effective Date: April 8, 2016                                                                                   Reviewed Date: September 1, 2017
  Revised Date: September 1, 2017

PURPOSE

Participation, attendance, and timeliness are fundamental to professional and curricular responsibilities.  This policy establishes participation and attendance procedures.

POLICY REFERENCE

College of Medicine faculty and Phase I students

POLICY STATEMENT

Introduction

At the Penn State College of Medicine, students are considered junior colleagues.  Here,  professionalism subcompetencies and professional behaviors are valued equally with the subcompetencies and behaviors for medical knowledge and clinical skills. Participation, attendance, and timeliness are fundamental professional behaviors and curricular responsibilities that are expected of all students. Your attendance and participation in group learning activities allows you to learn from and teach your classmates, function as an effective team member, and enhances the learning experience for all involved.

On-time attendance and full participation is required in all instances where students collaborate with other students in the learning experience or in which patients are involved.  Students must arrive to educational sessions on time and be well prepared for the activities that take place during these sessions.  Faculty who participate in the above required learning experiences will monitor students’ attendance, timeliness, and participation and submit reports in each of these areas to the Office of Medical Education (OME) which, in turn, will track attendance and tardiness.

Such sessions include but are not limited to:

Classes and venues that require student collaboration, such as but not limited to: 

  • Problem-based Learning (PBL) groups
  • Small-group sessions for courses such as Medical Humanities, Foundations of Patient Centered Care, Science of Health Systems and interprofessional education activities
  • Medium-sized groups such as Team-based Learning (TBL), All Labs and Imaging Sessions
  • Simulation Labs and rotational exercises such as Neurology Day

Classes and other venues that involve patient participation and/or guest speakers, such as but not limited to:

  • Large group/lecture sessions with patients or other guests
  • Physical Diagnosis/Clinical Skills
  • Observed Structured and Clinical Evaluation (OSCE)
  • Interprofessional simulation experiences
  • Primary Care Preceptorship

Six types of absences are recognized:

  1. Unexpected Absences
  2. Military Absences
  3. Religious Absences
  4. Presenting at Conference Absences
  5. Doctor’s appointment Absences
  6. Discretionary Days

Out of respect for others engaged in the learning experience, the student must discuss his/her absence with all faculty and students involved (e.g., PBL group, course director).  The student should ask the other students/facilitator how he/she can help with the group’s work before or following the absence.

Unexpected Absences

An absence due to personal illness, emergency doctor’s appointment, or a family emergency such as serious illness or death of a family member, must be submitted the morning of the absence using the Notification of Absence Form. Failure to report an Unexpected Absence within 24 hours will be marked as an Unexcused Absence.  By College of Medicine policy, campus security must be informed about any student who is unaccounted for more 24 hours so that a search can be initiated to confirm that the student is safe.

Military Absence

An absence due to military service; must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form and receiving approval.

Religious Absence

An absence due to a religious holiday; must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form and receiving approval.

Presenting at Conference Absence

An absence due to presenting at a conference; must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form and receiving approval.

Doctor’s Appointments Absence

An absences due to a doctor’s appointment; must be requested at least seven (7) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form and receiving approval.

Discretionary Day 

In Phase 1 and POM II, students have the opportunity to utilize  up to 3 discretionary days in year 1 and 2 discretionary days in year 2 prior to the start of the clinical clerkships (phase 2).  Examples of discretionary day absences include family-related events (e.g., reunion, wedding, birthday), social obligations, school conference, etc. Students need not provide a reason for requesting a discretionary day.  Discretionary days do not carry over from year 1 to year 2 of Phase I.  

Please note there are important limitations to requesting discretionary days:

1) Discretionary days must be requested at least three (3) working days in advance by submitting a Notification of Absence Form.

2.) You may not extend a holiday or vacation by using a discretionary day immediately before or after the holiday or vacation.

3) A “Black Out” day is defined as an educational activity whose learning outcomes cannot be recreated in an equivalent way. The curriculum contains several categories of unique small-group sessions that cannot easily be recreated (preceptorships, simulation sessions, interprofessional education activities, communications workshops).  Such sessions are not eligible for discretionary-day absences. These sessions include but are not limited to:

  • OSCEs
  • Simulation Center Sessions
  • Wellness Retreats
  • Exams
  • Neurology Day
  • Reflection and Assessment Sessions
  • POM II Sessions

Weather-related Absences

The School of Medicine is opened unless there is an official announcement of closure from the Dean. Every day when school is in session the Academic Participation and Attendance Procedure is followed. Weather-related Absences will be marked as use of a Discretionary Day and students will follow the procedures for an Unexpected Absence.

Consequences of Unexcused Absences or Repeated Tardiness

Unexcused absences or patterns of consistent tardiness will be considered as lapses in conscientious behaviors, which are a part of expectations for the professionalism competency.  Students who have any unapproved absences or tardiness for a given activity (e.g. PBL group, submitting weekly quizzes, etc.) will earn a final course grade of “Does Not Meet Expectations as outlined in the Conscientious Behavior Tracking document outlined on Simba. Targeted Remediation, as outlined in the Conscientious Behavior Tracking document must be successfully completed in order to achieve a “meets expectations.”

For any questions about the absence requests, please contact Amy Savastio-Ladd, asavastioladd@pennstatehealth.psu.edu in the Hershey Office of Medical Education.

APPLICABILITY

This policy pertains to all College of Medicine Phase I students

PERSON(s) RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEW OF POLICY

Office of Medical Education

Penn State College of Medicine, Educational Affairs

Student Handbook: Policies, Procedures, and Services

Policy Number:  CA-15
Effective:          4/8/2016

 

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