MD: Phase 1 Attendance Policy


The profession of medicine requires the utmost commitment of time and energy to learning/education, patient care, research and other scholarly activities. The development of this commitment begins in Phase 1 of the Gateway Curriculum. 

Students must recognize that teaching, learning and assessment in both clinical and nonclinical settings are dependent on the student's presence and participation in their education. Time spent away from an educational experience may decrease learning and impede effective assessment. 

In keeping with LCME standard 12.4, all students requiring access to necessary diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic care for both acute and chronic health concerns are to be excused from required learning activities. Please refer to the Access to Healthcare Services Policy for additional details.


Students are expected to attend all required sessions within Phase 1 of the Gateway Curriculum as specified within the learning management system. In the unusual circumstance that a student finds that they are unable to attend a required session, the student must complete an absence notification form in the learning management system that will be sent to the faculty lead, with a copy sent to the Office of Medical Student Education (OMSE). This form must be completed prior to the session that they will miss or as soon as possible after the session if missed due to sudden illness or emergency. In addition, students unable to attend a team activity should notify their team members by email. In the case of immersions, students must also notify by email the clinical team to which they have been assigned. 

In the event that an absence is unavoidable, students will work with the faculty leads to develop a remediation plan for the missed session. All required assignments associated with a missed session must be completed. Faculty directors may require additional makeup work for missed sessions. Faculty leads may also designate some sessions as those that cannot be missed except under extreme circumstances because they cannot be made up. These sessions will be noted in the learning management system and should only be missed under extreme, unavoidable circumstances such as a medical illness or family emergency. Failure to attend a required learning activity without providing notification is considered an unprofessional behavior. 

Attendance data will be tracked longitudinally by OMSE within the learning management system for all phases of the curriculum. An absence will be recorded even when makeup work for a missed session is completed. Data will be monitored by the Director of Assessment in collaboration with OMSE and will be reviewed by the Competency Attainment Committee as evidence contributing to attainment of competency in PROF-2: Exhibit high standards of professional integrity.


Central monitoring of absences will reside with the Office of Medical Student Education and the Director of Assessment. A concerning trend of absences may be discussed with the Associate Dean of Student Affairs and the Director of Coaching and Student Success to ensure appropriate student support can be offered and provided. Faculty directors of required Phase 1 sessions will include a specific faculty contact in the learning management system associated with all required sessions.

The Washington University School of Medicine Phase 1 Attendance Policy was last approved by the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Student Education governing body on Feb. 19, 2021. All substantive edits to this policy require approval by the Committee on the Oversight of Medical Student Education governing body.