University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Medicine

Clinical Connections and Competencies Course Absence Policy

Satisfactory completion of the Clinical Connections and Competencies Course (Transition to Clerkship, Clinical Intersections and Transition to Residency) is required for graduation.  All assignments and end-of-course evaluations must be completed within the time limit set by the course Coordinator/Director, and attendance at all sessions is mandatory.

Requests for an excused absence must be made by completing an Absence Request Form no later than one week in advance of the anticipated absence, and as soon as feasible in the event of an emergent situation.  Students are strongly encouraged to submit their requests as soon as possible (even if months prior to the start of the course.)

Any missed time (excused and unexcused) must be made up at the discretion of the Coordinator/Director.   Students who do not make up the assignment or missed time by the end of the course will receive a grade of “incomplete” until the assignment or missed time is satisfactorily completed.  Students who fail to make up the assignment or missed time within the time limit set by the Coordinator/Director will have a grade of “unsatisfactory” assigned and will not receive credit for the experience until repeated in its entirety.

Examples of absence requests that are often approved at the discretion of the Coordinator/Director: 

(Written documentation of absence may be required.)

  1. Illness of student, significant other or immediate family member
  2. Funeral of family member
  3. Doctor’s appointment for student
  4. Religious Holidays*
  5. Presentation at a conference
  6. Own wedding
  7. Jury duty (Contact Office of Student Affairs immediately)
  8. Court date
  9. Residency interviews
  10. Student representative on College of Medicine (COM) Committee

* Documentation of attendance is not required.

Examples of absence requests that may be approved at the discretion of the Coordinator/Director: 

(Written documentation of absence may be required.)

  1. Illness of extended family member or friend
  2. Funeral of a friend
  3. Wedding of a family member or participation in a wedding of a non-family member
  4. Teaching Electives
  5. Attendance at a medical conference (not presenting)
  6. Other circumstances of an extreme, unanticipated, and compelling nature

Unexcused absence or repeated tardiness may impact a student’s standing and could result in a final grade of “unsatisfactory” as a direct result of his/her unprofessional behavior, with no credit assigned for the course until repeated in its entirety.

M3 Students in Transition to Clerkship and Clinical Intersections:

The Transition to Clerkships (TTC) course is included in the Phase 1 curriculum however, it is considered the orientation for Phase 2 and the foundation for the longitudinal Clinical Connections and Competencies courses that span Phases 2 and 3 and include 4-5 longitudinal Clinical Intersections sessions and the Transition to Residency (TTR) course. All rising M3 students are scheduled for TTC in the spring semester prior to the start of Phase 2.

ALL segments of TTC (and Clinical Connections and Competencies) must be completed for satisfactory completion of these courses. This includes ALL scheduled activities including workshops, TBLs, group sessions, and large group sessions.  This is to ensure that all students are provided with the same tools that are meant to help students stay safe and excel in clerkships and beyond.

Making up missed time: Any missed time, whether excused or unexcused, must be “made-up” before a passing course grade will be submitted.  In the case of interactive sessions, this may mean completing missed course segments with the next class the following year.

Requesting Excusal in TTC and other portions of Clinical Connections and Competencies: Remember that planning ahead for any time off is very important, especially as you enter your clinical training.  Once clerkships begin, you will be following the college-wide Expectations for Participation in Phase 2 and 3 Clinical Experiences, which is consistent across campuses. Requests for absences are granted by the course, clerkship, or elective director, and must be consistent with the College-wide policy.  Note that you must ask permission in your written requests; you should never assume that your request will be automatically granted.

If due to an emergency, a student needs to miss a Transition to Clerkship and/or Clinical Intersections session, they must complete an Absence Request Form PRIOR to their absence in order to be excused. Documentation will be required except for religious holidays.

M4 Students in Transition to Residency:

The Transition to Residency attendance policy is similar to the policy for Clinical Intersections. M4 students attend designated synchronous sessions that are scheduled during Phase 3 of the Illinois Medicine Curriculum. Dates for this course are provided to students in advance.

All segments of Transition to Residency must be completed to satisfy graduation requirements. This includes all scheduled activities such as assignments, workshops, TBLs, and group sessions. This is to ensure that all students are provided with the tools that will help them to build their community of practice, master their clinical skills, foster their own wellness in the clinical setting, and excel in residency.

Requesting Excusal in Transition to Residency and Phases 2/3: Remember that planning ahead for any time off is very important, especially in your clinical training.  In Phase 2/3 students follow the Expectation for Participation in Phase 2 and Phase 3 Clinical Experiences to request absences from clerkships, electives, and other courses. Permission for absences is granted by course, clerkship, or elective directors and is consistent with the College-wide policy.  Note that you must ask permission in your written requests; you should never assume that a request will automatically be granted.

In Chicago, the entirety of TTR is scheduled as a 2-week course that repeats 3xs (with approximately 1/3rd of the class participating at a time). While every attempt should be made to avoid scheduling conflicts during TTR course components, it is understood that students may need to request excused absences. As always, any absences should be requested with an Absence Request Form with as much advanced notice as possible and will require make-up, usually during another round of the course (or as a written assignment when this is not possible), before a passing grade will be submitted to the registrar.