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Professionalism and Priorities


Please see the attendance policy. If you need to be absent for reasons of illness, please notify your resident no later than 8:30 a.m. so that your patients may continue to receive essential medical care. Excused absence to attend scientific meetings, etc., must be obtained from the clerkship coordinator.

For participation in a conference where the student is the lead author/presenter, or directly participating in the conference presentation, please reference 1, 2 & 3 below:

1. No later than 60 days prior to the start of the 12-week clerkship during which the conference will take place, the student should email the co-directors and coordinators of the integrated 12-week clerkship. This email must include the completed form, “Request for Conference Absence from a Clerkship”. For an absence during the first 12-week rotation of the clerkship year, the request should be submitted as soon as the student’s clerkship schedule is known.

2. A student may take only one absence to participate in a research conference in a 12-month clerkship year. Requests for additional conference-related absences must be reviewed by the clerkship director in conjunction with the student’s academic advisor.

3. As a general rule, absence to participate in a research conference is not permitted on subinternships.

Dress and Deportment

To many patients and members of the hospital staff, bizarre dress or an unkempt appearance are as disturbing as unprofessional behavior would be. The ultimate responsibility for dress and deportment on the medical services of our affiliated hospitals rests with the Chief of Service at each of the hospitals. If a resident or attending physician to whom a student is assigned feels the student is showing unprofessional dress, deportment or demeanor, he should report the matter to the Chief of Service for appropriate action.


There are certain priorities to recognize in approaching your Medicine clerkship. The teaching program can be divided into:

  1. General Teaching Program. This includes case oriented teaching by residents and attending staff, including work rounds, attending rounds and consult rounds. Didactic conferences including medical grand rounds, professor's rounds and noon conferences also fit into this category.
  2. Student Oriented Sessions. These include the Case Discussion Simulation Sessions, the radiology and EKG conferences, Top Ten and Student Report.

Remember that the learning involved with direct patient care is the most important component of your Medicine clerkship. However, all parts of the general teaching program and the student oriented sessions are also important for your Medicine experience. In some instances, other team activities and work hour limitations may conflict with these essential parts of your program. Unless the team activities are directly related to one of your patients, the components of the general teaching program and student oriented sessions should receive your highest priority.

You should, of course, assist the interns and residents in the general work involved in managing the team of patients--especially the patients for whom you have primary responsibility! You should be a functioning member of the team, but remember your educational priorities. If you feel that there is a substantial conflict between your priorities and the expectations of your team, we encourage you to discuss it with your resident, chief resident, or site coordinator as early as possible. They will help you set the priorities for how you spend your time. DO NOT HESITATE TO ASK QUESTIONS.