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At the core of Yale’s system of education is the belief that our students are mature and highly motivated to learn. We believe they will take responsibility for learning what they need to know. As a result, attendance in basic science courses is not taken during the preclinical years. However, attendance is mandatory in all skill-building sessions. Attendance is also required on the clinical clerkships, clinical electives and the didactic seminars during the clerkships. Poor attendance or tardiness at clinical events or didactics will be noted in student evaluations and be taken into consideration by the Progress Committee as it decides whether a student has met all graduation requirements.

Permissible reasons to miss a clerkship:

  • Personal illness
  • Death in the family
  • Religious holiday observances
  • Participation in a scientific conference where the student is a lead author and is participating in a presentation

Even if a student misses a clerkship for a permissible reason, they must notify the clerkship director with a copy to their advisor as soon as they know that they will be absent from a clerkship or other required activity as outlined above.

If a student misses any days during a two-week clerkship or more than two days of a four-week-or-longer clerkship, the student may be required to repeat the clerkship.

The student must also work with the clerkship director for any absence, excused or unexcused. Students may need to make up these absences. Decisions will be made on an individual basis by the clerkship director. The clerkship director will notify the advisor of any unexcused absence, and unexcused absences will be noted in the student’s grade.

Work Hours

In an effort to address the effects of fatigue and sleep deprivation on learning, patient care and student well-being, Yale Medical School has adopted the following policy for all clerkships and elective rotations:

  • We will follow the AGCME duty hours requirements for interns as outlined on the ACGME site.
  • Work hours are limited to time spent in the hospital caring for patients and attending related educational activities. Calculation of work hours should not include time spent completing write-ups or study time during non-hospital. As an example, a student who comes to the hospital at 7 a.m. and stays until 10 p.m. will have 15 hours of work time. A student could then go home and read to prepare for rounds the next day. This time at home reading is not considered part of work hours. In such a case the student would have 10 p.m. to 7 a.m. duty free (no direct patient care responsibilities or required educational in-hospital activities) before the next duty period.

Monitoring Compliance

  • Work hours will be monitored by each Clerkship Director and/or by each Elective Director.
  • As part of the routine electronic evaluation of the rotation, students will be asked whether they worked in excess of the ACGME guidelines described above.
  • Student concerns about work hours and reports of time spent in excess of the policy standard will be pulled from the system every six months. Responses indicating work hours above ACGME requirements will be sent to the Clerkship Director and to the Department Chair. The Clerkship Director will indicate to the Office of Education how they plan to address the concern.
  • Findings will be reported to the curriculum committee each year.