MD: Medical Student Access to Healthcare Services Policy

Background

The Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME), per element 12.4, expects that a medical school provides its medical students with timely access to needed diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic health services at sites in reasonable proximity to the locations of their required educational activities and has policies and procedures in place that permit students to be excused from educational activities to seek needed care.

This LCME requirement is aligned with Washington University School of Medicine’s (WUSM) dedication to providing access to support and high-quality care for the physical, emotional and mental well-being of its students. To achieve this, the Student Health Services team provides students at WUSM with efficient, accessible, high-quality care, without undue financial burden, in order to prevent and treat health problems that may interfere with a student’s educational and professional goals while attending WUSM. The Student Health Services Office is located on the Medical School Campus and provides a full range of primary care medical, mental health, health promotion and wellness services. The staff consists of physicians, nurses, psychologists, and administrative support for those clinicians.

Policies

In order to access these health services, medical students will be excused from classes or clinical activities. The following procedures will be followed:

A. Student responsibility

  1. The student is responsible for notifying the office of the relevant director of the educational activity (e.g., the clerkship director) and, if applicable, the supervising clinician of their clinical team as soon as possible. This is for both routine preventative appointments and acute incidents.
  2. For additional details regarding student responsibilities in the event of a planned or unplanned absence for students on clinical courses, please refer to the Absence Policy for Medical Students on Clinical Rotations.

B. Responsibility of directors of required educational activities (e.g., the clerkship director)

  1. Directors will work with students to ensure that students can access healthcare services in a timely manner and as needed.
  2. If a student encounters any barrier to timely access to necessary health services, they are to notify the Associate Dean for Student Affairs or Ombuds. The Associate Dean for Student Affairs will address the concern with the clinical or course director and take appropriate action.

The Washington University School of Medicine Medical Student Access to Healthcare Services Policy was last approved by the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Education on March 2, 2020. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Education.