Approved by Curriculum Committee on March 12, 2012
Permission to be absent from mandatory learning activities must be obtained from the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Office, and all absences are recorded. The UGME Office will consider the nature of the request, the educational activities that will be missed, previous absence requests, and the academic standing of the student, when deciding whether to approve or deny the request for absence.
Students who are not in good academic standing will not be permitted such absences.
The only absences that may be permitted despite a conflict with final examinations are those related to health, personal, or family issues.
Students must submit their request at least 30 days
prior to the start of the course or rotation that will be affected whenever the request is for planned activities (e.g. conference/academic activity, religious holiday, sporting event, wedding).
Even when an individual teacher, tutor, preceptor, or supervisor does not have any concerns about the requested absence, the final decision about any absence is the responsibility of the UGME Office. Notification of approval or refusal of the request will be sent to the student via email. When an absence is approved, supplemental or make-up assignments may be required. Students are responsible for promptly informing the staff who would otherwise expect their attendance of any approved absence.
As a student in a professional faculty, students are expected to demonstrate honesty and integrity which is part of the Professional Attributes section of the Medical Student Performance Record (Dean’s Letter).
Basis of Medicine (BOM): For short absences (less than 1 day) resulting only in absence from non-mandatory lectures, it is the student's responsibility to cover the material; the online Absence Request Form does not need to be completed. Attendance at small groups and examinations is mandatory. For any absence that would involve missing a small group session or examination, the student
must request an absence by following the procedure outlined below. Supplemental learning activities or make-up assignments are usually required.
Physicianship and Physician Apprenticeship: For absences resulting only in absence from non-mandatory lectures, it is the student’s responsibility to cover the material; the online Absence Request Form does not need to be completed. Attending small group sessions, Physician Apprenticeship meetings, Simulation Centre activities, Clerkship Recall Days, and some lectures is mandatory. For any absence that would involve missing a mandatory activity, the student must request an absence by following the procedure outlined below. Supplemental learning activities or make-up assignments are usually required.
Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM): All orientation sessions, learning sessions, tutorials, patient contact, Simulation Centre activities, BCLS training, and examinations during ICM courses are considered mandatory. Therefore, absences are generally not allowed. Absences may exceptionally be granted for health, personal, or family issues; and parental leave; and presentations at conferences. Students who are presenting at a conference are permitted to be absent for the day of presentation, plus one travel day before and after the day of presentation, to a maximum of 25 percent of a rotation; not for the entire duration of the conference. Supplemental learning activities or make-up assignments are often required.
N.B. Absence from more than 25% of any clinical rotation for any reason is an automatic “incomplete” and will require the student to repeat the rotation, i.e. absence of more than two days from an ICM two-week clinical rotation, or absence of more than five days from a four-week rotation.
Core and Senior Clerkship: All orientations, learning sessions, clinics, patient contact, midway feedback meetings, Simulation Centre activities, ACLS training, Recall Days, and examinations during Core and Senior Clerkship rotations are considered mandatory. Therefore, absences from scheduled activities are generally not allowed. Absences may exceptionally be granted for health, personal, or family issues; and presentations at conferences. Students who are presenting at a conference are permitted to be absent for the day of presentation, plus one travel day before and after the day of presentation, to a maximum of 5 days out of a 4 week rotation; not for the entire duration of the conference. Requests to attend a conference when the student has not been invited to present research are generally not allowed. However, Senior Clerkship students may request up to 5 days of Conference Leave during elective time to allow them to attend a conference even if they are not presenting. This Conference Leave will only be granted during Senior Clerkship elective rotations, and proof of registration at the conference is required.
During Core and Senior Clerkship, both weekdays and weekend days are included as rotation days and may require patient contact (scheduled clinics, shifts, or on-call duties). Students wishing to be absent must first send their preferences to the Site Administrative Coordinator who will ensure that their requests are considered when making the schedule for the rotation. If the student would miss time from scheduled activity due to an absence, then the student must submit their request through the online Absence Request Form.
N.B. Absence of more than five days (for any reason) from a four-week clinical rotation is an automatic “incomplete” and will require the student to repeat the rotation.
Procedure for submitting an absence request
Step 1: Prior to submitting a request to the UGME office using the online Absence Request Form, students must discuss their request with the appropriate staff:
Basis of Medicine: Toby
Cape (email@example.com) and/or Unit Course Director (see BOM list)
Physicianship or Physician Apprenticeship:
Anne Briggs (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Introduction to Clinical Medicine (ICM): Site ICM Director (MD) and Site Administrative Coordinator (see ICM contact list)
Core and Senior Clerkship – Required rotations: Site Clerkship Director (MD) and Site Administrative Coordinator (see Clerkship contact list)
Core and Senior Clerkship – Elective rotations: Elective Supervisor (MD) and Elective Coordinator (Administrator)
Step 2: After discussing with the appropriate staff (Step 1) students must complete the online Absence Request Form for any absence that is one day or more in length or would involve missing a mandatory learning activity. The student should login
(Use McGill Email/Password for Username/Password) into this website and complete the online form:
Step 3: Upon submission of the request, the student will receive an automatic email indicating that the appropriate supporting documentation (e.g. letter from the student’s physician, invitation to present at a conference, proof of conference registration, or email from site clerkship director indicating that the time can be missed) must be submitted by return email within 10 days.
Step 4: Once the supporting documentation has been received by the UGME Office, the request will be reviewed. A decision about whether the request is approved or denied will be communicated to the student via email. The student should forward this email confirmation to the local teaching office if the absence involves an ICM or Clerkship course.
MEDIUM AND LONG-TERM LEAVE OF ABSENCES (MORE THAN 5 DAYS)
For major illnesses resulting in a significant loss of time, wherea student requires more than five (5) days away, the student must meet with the Associate Dean.
In general, a medical leave may be granted for up to one year. The Faculty reserves the right to impose a limitation on the number of leaves, as well as the total duration. Should a prolongation be requested, the Faculty of Medicine reserves the right to require a second opinion from a Faculty-designated physician. In general, the M.D.,C.M. program must be completed within seven years.
A student returning from a medical leave must provide documentation from the treating physician/professional counsellor of the student’s readiness to resume studies.
Once the request is approved, the student’s registration and fees must be clarified with the Student Records Officer. Students may be required to forfeit all or part of their tuition fees. All students must have an interview with the Student Aid Office to reassess impact on financial aid.
The Faculty of Medicine will consider requests for other leaves under exceptional circumstances, as in the case of a student awarded a Rhodes scholarship, maternity or parenting reasons, personal or family health reasons, professional development, or for required military service. Such a leave must be requested on a term-by-term basis and maybe granted for a period of up to 52 weeks. A leave-of-absence request shall be submitted in writing to the Associate Dean with appropriate documentation.
For personal illness or family crisis, depending on the severity of the problem, a student may be:
Exempted from a portion of a core rotation at the discretion of the Associate Dean in consultation with the unit co-ordinator or
Exempted (up to a maximum of 8 weeks) from elective blocks, either immediately (if the student is presently doing an elective), or at a later date in order to complete a core rotation or
Granted a Leave of Absence for two (2) to twelve (12) months.
The Faculty of Dentistry considers requests for leaves only for reasons of health.
Advance notification to the Faculty is required (i.e. a letter indicating anticipated time of delivery or adoption at least three months prior). An effort will be made to rearrange the student's schedule for the benefit of the student. Up to eight (8) weeks elective time may be excused at the discretion of the Associate Dean. If more time is needed, a leave of absence may be taken and the time made up upon the student's return.
New parents may be excused for one (1) week (five working and two weekend days) at the time of the birth/reception of their child. At the time of leave, the student must provide a letter to the Dean's office indicating dates of absence. This leave must be taken within three (3) weeks of the child's birth/adoption.
Policy Concerning Fees, Student Records
Students granted a leave of absence from the four-year M.D.,C.M. program should be aware that certain regulations apply with regard to the official McGill student record, tuition and other university charges.
- All students must maintain a minimum of 12 credits per term in order to maintain full time student status. The M.D.,C.M. program does not have “part-time” status. Part-time students are not eligible for government loans and bursaries, and international students must be full-time in order to maintain international health insurance coverage.
- A narrative comment will be added to the student record stating the student has been granted a leave of absence. The reason for the leave will not be stated on the transcript.
- Tuition refunds will apply only if the leave is in effect prior to official university withdrawal dates for each term. The official university withdrawal dates and refund regulations are published in the university calendar of dates and fee booklet each academic year.
- A grade of “W” (withdrew) will be entered on the transcript for any courses not completed during the term.
- On return from the leave, students will be registered for any deferred courses and will be assessed the appropriate tuition for these courses.
- Students who are granted leaves during the academic year which cover the duration of a full term will remain on the student record system; however, the record will show a “Leave of Absence”.
- Students will not be assessed compulsory fees (i.e., student services and societies) if a leave starts at the beginning of the winter or summer term. Students are assessed fees for undergraduate supplemental health insurance and international health insurance at the beginning of the fall term. Coverage is applicable until August 31 of the following year. Should a leave of absence span the fall term, and students wish to have the coverage, then students are required to make arrangements through the V.P. Operations, Student Society of McGill University (SSMU) to “opt in” to the undergraduate insurance plan for the following year. As students must be active members of SSMU in order to subscribe to the student health insurance plan, they must pay SSMU and Medical Students Society fees. Students must go to the SSMU
themselves; SSMU will notify Student Accounts of the fees to be assessed.
International students should consult the International Health Insurance Office in the Brown Student Services Building concerning the International Health Insurance policy.
- To access gymnasium facilities, students must also make private arrangements and pay any necessary fees directly to the gymnasium.
- Once the leave is granted, all students must consult the Student Aid Office in order to assess the impact of the leave on student aid, e.g., government loans and bursaries.