Phase 3 Attendance Policy

—This policy applies to Gateway Curriculum students.—


The profession of medicine requires the utmost commitment of time and energy to learning/education, patient care, research and, when appropriate, other scholarly activities. The development of this commitment begins in Phase 1 of the Gateway Curriculum and extends into Phase 2 as students advance in their training to become a physician.

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

Phase 3 of the Gateway Curriculum consists of a variety of types of courses that include a range of clinical and nonclinical educational strategies. It is also recognized that students in Phase 3 of the Gateway Curriculum will also be participating in residency interviews. This document outlines the attendance policies and expectations for Phase 3 of the Gateway Curriculum while also recognizing that students may have legitimate reasons for absences. In keeping with LCME element 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 3 of the Gateway Curriculum as specified within the learning management system. In addition to personal emergencies, it is recognized that a student may, on a rare occasion, desire to be excused from clinical activities for professional or significant personal events, including religious holidays (PDF) and residency interviews. Travel prior to or following observed university holidays and breaks that occurs outside of the officially designated times/dates on the MD Program Academic Calendar does not constitute a significant personal event or unavoidable absence.

In the unusual event that a student is unable to attend a required session, the student must have a discussion with the relevant course director(s) and then complete an absence notification form in the learning management system that will then 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 missed session or as soon as possible after the session if the absence is due to sudden illness or emergency. Students unable to attend a team activity—including activities scheduled during clinical assignments of Phase 3 courses—should also notify their team members by email with as much advance notice as can reasonably be expected under the circumstances. If the unavoidable absence occurs during a scheduled assessment activity (excluding Just in Time clinical assessments), the student must also complete the Request to Delay Assignment/Assessment form.

When students encounter an unavoidable absence for required events within the clinical and nonclinical portions of Phase 3 courses, they will work with the relevant course director(s) and/or other stakeholders to develop a remediation plan for the missed session(s), when possible. All required assignments associated with a missed session must be completed, and the course director(s) may require additional makeup work for missed sessions.

Students are expected to fully participate in their patient care assignments. If students find that they need to be absent from their responsibilities while rotating on clinical services, they will need to submit an absence notification form with as much advance notice as can be reasonably expected based on the circumstances. Students will still be accountable for meeting all course requirements, including but not limited to assessment requirements, course objectives, and other assignments or required experiences, if applicable. Any absences that compromise a student’s ability to meet these requirements and/or other Phase 3 requirements will require a remediation plan at the discretion of the relevant course director(s).

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 Assistant Dean for Assessment (ADA) in collaboration with OMSE; it will be reviewed by the Competency Attainment Committee as evidence contributing to attainment of competency in PROF-2: Exhibit high standards of professional integrity.


Students are encouraged to make up missed work on rotations when this can result in meaningful learning. They should discuss this option with the course director(s).

Students are encouraged to notify course leadership teams about any planned absences so that clinical assignments can be developed to minimize the educational impact of such absences, when relevant.

If a student has absences that may impact the assessment of competence or the completion of course requirements during their clinical assignment(s), the consequences rendered will be at the discretion of the course director(s), the Associate Dean of Student Affairs (ADSA), the ADA, and the Associate Dean for Medical Student Education.

Central monitoring of absences will reside with OMSE and the ADA. A concerning trend of absences may be discussed with the ADSA and the Associate Dean for Educational Strategy to ensure appropriate student support can be offered and provided.

All students are encouraged to discuss planned absences with their course director(s) early and prior to assignment development to better allow placement on a team to optimize the educational experience. For example, students are discouraged from scheduling required Phase 3 courses (e.g. ACRs, KISCs) during periods of time when planned absences are likely.

Last approved on September 12, 2022

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