Guidelines for Excused Absence
In order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to master the objectives and competencies of the Educational Program for the M.D. degree, students are expected to maintain consistent participation and attendance throughout their undergraduate medical education. Each course and clerkship publishes its required/mandatory activities; please adhere to those as well as the general absence policy of McGovern Medical School (MMS).
An absence is defined as any instance in which a student in not physically present at an activity. Students should not assume they are allowed any absences at their discretion or for their personal convenience. Absences are considered acceptable only when unavoidable, which includes two types of circumstances:
- Unavoidable and anticipated, as in a residency interview or presentation at a professional meeting.
Presentation at a meeting/conference: An excused absence may be granted for students presenting at a conference. Conference attendance, without presentation responsibilities, does not meet the requirements for an excused absence.
Leadership activity: An excused absence may be granted if you are representing MMS in a leadership capacity at a conference or meeting (for example, as the president of our AMWA chapter, or as an elected representative from the MMS on an AMSA committee). Conference attendance, without leadership responsibilities, does not meet the requirements for an excused absence.
Submission of documentation to substantiate the absence is often required.
- Unavoidable and unanticipated, as in personal illness or family tragedy.
Illness: An excused absence may be granted if you are ill. For your own sake and the sake of others, you should not attend classes, see patients, or take exams if you are sick. An excused absence due to illness requires a note from Health Services or your physician.
Major life event: An excused absence may be granted in light of a major life event such as a death in your immediate family, the wedding of an immediate family member, or other major event. The granting of an excused absence in these instances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
NB: illness exceeding two days requires documentation from a healthcare practitioner
NB: Only in the most extenuating of circumstances will an excused absence be granted for an examination date. In these most unusual cases, documentation is always required.
To submit a request for an excused absence, visit the MMS Office of Admissions and Student Affairs Website: https://med.uth.edu/admissions/student-affairs/
Policy for Requesting an Excused Absence from a Test or Examination
- A student requesting an excused absence from an examination must notify the course director (or the individual or office the course director designates for this purpose at the beginning of the course) prior to the examination.
- The student must then notify the Office of Student Affairs.
- The Office of Student Affairs will consider each request and inform the student and course director of the student’s eligibility to sit for re-examination or to have his/her absence considered excused. Failure to notify the course director and the Office of Student Affairs will jeopardize the student’s eligibility for an excused absence.