Attendance Policy

Required Attendance in Pre-Clerkship Curriculum


In keeping with the philosophy of the Yale System of Medical Education, students accept their responsibility to actively participate in the curriculum and recognize that certain activities require their presence and engagement in order for effective learning and meaningful assessment to take place.  Student attendance is expected in all skill-building sessions and sessions where interactive learning, clinical reasoning, or collaboration are necessary for optimal learning.



Mandatory attendance in the pre-clerkship curriculum will apply to those learning activities that meet the specific criteria below.

  1. Direct patient contact experiences and clinical skill building sessions
    Attendance is mandatory in sessions with direct patient contact such as the LCE and Tutorials, as well as all learning sessions for the Clinical Skills Course.
  2. Learning events that rely on the presence of patients, volunteers or others to enhance the learning experience
    Faculty invite patients and their families to enhance learning of clinical topics and understanding of the effects of disease for the patient and their family.  These sessions are not podcasted due to HIPAA regulations and this material cannot be learned without attendance at the session.
  3. Emphasis is on active application, analysis, synthesis or evaluation of learning material
    Learning activities must be designed to require interactive participation and impart the skill of critical thinking, clinical reasoning, or other complex skills in addition to basic knowledge.
  4. Consistency of teams and/or faculty educators
    Team Based Learning: Students will be expected to work together in consistent teams across the curriculum which require all students to participate in order to contribute to one another’s learning as well as their own.
    Small Group Learning:  Discipline or course based small group sessions in a course must have at least three sessions, with consistency of student membership and consistency of faculty teacher(s), so that students and faculty can develop a working relationship with their group.


Mandatory attendance sessions must meet the following standards:

  1. Preparation of teaching faculty
    Course Directors must ensure that faculty understand the pedagogical approach and are appropriately prepared. This requires at least one orientation session for teaching faculty to discuss the materials and the environment to be used in creating an interactive and student-centered pedagogy.
  2. Student preparation
    Students should be given specific instructions on how to prepare for the class, including reading assignments, weekly assignments, questions posed in the materials, and classroom participation expectations.  Students are expected to prepare accordingly.
  3. Group size
    The class must be divided into a minimum of eight groups of students (~13 students per group). Consistent with all small group teaching, student switching between groups is discouraged. Students who wish to change groups are required to obtain permission of the course director and the leader of the assigned small group as well as the new group leader. This will ensure that the number of students per group is consistent with that which is optimal for effective teaching.

Absenteeism From Mandatory Pre-Clerkship Curriculum


The following constitute acceptable reasons for being absent from a mandatory curricular activity:

  • Personal illness or illness in immediate family member
  • To seek health-related care
  • Death in the family
  • Religious holiday observances
  • Participation in a scientific conference where the student is the lead author/presenter and directly participating in the conference presentation
  • Thesis related research activity of critical importance when it is impossible for the activity to be conducted at any other time

It is the student’s professional responsibility to review the absence policy and procedure and specific attendance requirements for all course and curricular activities in which he/she is involved. All mandatory curriculum sessions are noted on the BlueDogs schedule/calendar. Students are expected to be present at ALL required-attendance sessions and to SIGN IN using BlueDogs. Each required session will have a link in the description box on the event page in BlueDogs. Each student must click on this link to complete the sign-in process. The date and time of access will be recorded along with the name of the student. The Office of Education will monitor this in order to check on attendance in required events.

If a student anticipates missing a required-attendance session, he/she must communicate with the Office of Education* in advance, when possible. In cases involving illness and unexpected emergencies, students should notify the Office of Education as soon as possible. Students wishing to discuss personal reasons for absences may contact the associate dean for student affairs.

The Student’s Academic Advisor will be made aware of ALL unexcused absences.  The following are considered professional issues and may result in referral to the Progress Committee:

a. Failure to communicate with the Office of Education
b. Trend in number of unexcused absences across courses

Please note that each student is responsible for requesting approval for his/her own absence. 

* For integrated courses contact Leigh Cromey
* For Clinical Skills, Tutors and LCE contact Tracy Yale

Required Attendance on Clinical Clerkships and Electives


Being able to deliver continuous, attentive and professional care to patients on a clerkship or elective is considered an essential element of medical education.  Students are part of a team providing continuous medical care to patients. Their professional responsibilities as a team member include being accountable to the team or medical practice for attendance, punctuality, and dress.


1.  Attendance on clerkships and electives is required. *  This includes both clinical activities and didactic seminars.  

2. Students are also required to:
•    Be on time
•    Dress appropriately and professionally

3. Poor or tardy attendance at clinical activities or didactics will be noted in student evaluations and may be considered by the Progress Committee as evidence of a student’s inability to meet the essential requirements for graduation.  

*The school has defined acceptable reasons for student absences from a clinical clerkship or elective.  These are described in the “Absenteeism From Clinical Clerkships and Electives.”

Absenteeism From Clinical Clerkships and Electives


The following constitute acceptable reasons for being absent from a clinical clerkship or elective:

  • Personal illness or illness in immediate family member
  • To seek health-related care
  • Death in the family
  • Religious holiday observances
  • Participation in a conference where the student is the lead author/presenter and directly participating in the conference presentation *

Students who are unable to attend a clinical clerkship or elective activity for one of these reasons should notify their attending clinical supervisor as soon as possible.  Students should also notify the clerkship/elective director or clerkship/elective administrator. An absence of longer than 3 days may need to be made up.

* As a general rule, absence to participate in a research conference is not permitted on sub internships.