Jun 03, 2023  
2022-23 ATSU University Catalog 
2022-23 ATSU University Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

KCOM Attendance Policy and Guidelines

KCOM Attendance Policy and Guidelines

Return to Osteopathic Medicine, DO (KCOM)    

KCOM Attendance Policy and Guidelines

Extended Absence - Contract Required

Extended Absence - A contract is required for absences lasting 6-15 days. Contact Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to discuss this option before taking action. See ATSU Policies  section of this Catalog for additional information and the appropriate form to complete.

Student Leave - For a leave greater than 15 days. Contact Associate Dean of Academic Affairs to discuss this option before taking action. See the ATSU Policies  section of this Catalog for additional information and the appropriate form to complete.

 OMS I and OMS II Students

Required attendance activities are denoted on the student calendar (R). Students are encouraged to attend all academic activities to optimize their learning. ATSU-KCOM offers 3 personal days and 3 conference presentation days per academic year for DO students.  

All planned absence requests for first and second year students should be submitted two (2) business days prior to the absence on the appropriate electronic form via the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual (see attendance years 1-4) or ATSU-KCOM app (under student success). Retroactive excused absence requests or requests submitted fewer than two (2) business days may not be considered or approved. For absences greater than five days, see the Excused Absence Policy in the ATSU Policies section of this catalog. Questions about attendance can be directed to the office of Academic Affairs via email at kcomabsences@atsu.edu.

Personal Days

Personal days are to be used for planned absences (see examples below). Students are allowed up to three (3) personal days per academic year where scheduled required activities may be made up (if the exercise is reproducible). Any portion of a day requested as a personal day will count as an entire day off. Personal days should not be used for high-stakes assessments (e.g., section exams, practicals, finals). Each student is responsible for their own academic progress.

Examples of personal day use include:

  • Religious observations
  • Wellness exams
  • Elective medical procedures
  • ATSU/ATSU-KCOM club representation at regional/national meetings
  • Weddings

Conference Presentations

Students may be approved for an excused absence for up to three (3) days to travel to and attend a meeting or conference during which the student is making a scholarly presentation. Additionally, conference absences may be used to attend meetings as a representative of a school-sanctioned organization (e.g. SGA president, KOAA board representative, etc.). The student may be required to submit appropriate documentation with the absence request.

Unplanned Absences

ATSU-KCOM recognizes that unplanned absences from required curricular activities may arise. Students may request an unplanned excused absence for medical reasons (with proper documentation, e.g. physician note) or unplanned/unanticipated events. Examples:

  • Student illness, accident, and/or hospitalization (with proper documentation)
  • Immediate family member acute illness or funeral
  • Absences for reasons beyond the control of the students (e.g., weather, flight cancellations) may be considered. If approved, a personal day will not be used. 

Make-up for excused absences

If a first or second year student’s absence is determined to be excused, appropriate individuals within the college will be notified that the student is authorized for make-up. A makeup is offered for all major examinations. Either the Medical Education and/or Osteopathic Medical Manipulation office representative or other appointed individual will contact the student to make notification of the make-up schedule.

Some courses or activities do not have built-in leeway for missing class or assessment and no make-up is offered, even if the absence is excused. Finally, sometimes a make-up is not possible due to the nature of the activity even if the student was granted an excused absence.

OMS III and OMS IV Students

Students are required to make appropriate and timely notification if they will be absent.  Students must notify their clinical preceptor(s), Regional Assistant Dean (RAD) / Director of Student Medical Education (DSME) and Rotation Site Coordinator in writing immediately if they will be away for any reason (anticipated or unexpected). The following are descriptions of each type of absence.

Excused absences

Third and fourth year students should submit absence request forms to their RAD/DSME. The form can be found in the ATSU-KCOM Student Manual. Students are also responsible for notifying their region site coordinator and preceptor immediately for an excused absence to be approved. 

Personal/Conference Day/Medical

Students are allowed up to 3 personal days per academic year. Personal days must be approved in advance by the RAD/DSME, cannot be used consecutively without prior approval of the RAD/DSME, and cannot be carried over from the third year to the fourth year. In the case of an urgent absence, students must notify their regional coordinator immediately who will then submit the request to the RAD/DSME for review.

Students are allowed up to 3 days per academic year to attend qualifying conferences. Conference days must be approved in advance by the RAD/DSME. Conference days cannot be carried over from the third year to the fourth year.

Medical excused absences must be approved by the RAD/DSME. Whenever possible medical excused absences should be approved in advance.

Postgraduate Interviews

For postgraduate interviews, students must complete the required excused absence form and discuss with and obtain approval by the RAD/DSME and regional coordinator prior to the absence. Students are encouraged to schedule interviews for postgraduate programs during vacation, personal days, etc. and to limit time off during clinical rotations.

The RAD/DSME along with the preceptor will determine the scope of any work that needs to be addressed or completed as a result of absences related to travel for interviews.

Flextime/Vacation Time

Vacations are scheduled in conjunction with the regional site coordinator to accommodate the rotation schedule.

  • OMS III - Winter Break is scheduled for all third year students to commence in mid to late December and lasts for 2 weeks.
  • OMS IV - Three weeks of flextime/vacation time is scheduled by the student and approved by the region. All flextime/vacation time must be taken between rotations unless special permission is granted by the RAD/DSME. It must be used in full week increments (no partial weeks).Flextime/ vacation time is often used to fill gaps in student schedules between rotations. It may also be used for a variety of purposes including vacation, non-credit academic time, residency interviews, etc. 

Cumulative Absences

Students should not be absent for more than 2 days for any 2-week period. Absences beyond the 2 days will be evaluated with potential make-up time scheduled, as appropriate.

Management of Illnesses during OMS III and OMS IV

If a student contracts an illness, he/she should contact the RAD/DSME and regional coordinator to notify them of the medical status. The attending preceptor should also be contacted by the student or appropriate regional representative should the student be incapacitated. Students should follow the CDC recommendations that people with illness remain at home until at least 24 hours after they are free of fever (100 degrees F) or signs of a fever without the use of fever-reducing medications. Should further guidelines related to illness be established by the facility to which the student is assigned, the student should also follow the facility guidelines. Once the student has recovered, an individualized plan for makeup will be developed. If an extended absence (absence lasting 6-15 days) is required, please contact the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at KCOMAbsences@atsu.edu

Clinical Hours

Although a regional coordinator may provide a tentative daily schedule for a clinical rotation, the student is responsible to their assigned preceptor during clinical duty hours on each rotation. The student is required to keep the hours expected by the preceptor.  A ‘typical’ student clinical day begins at 7 a.m. and ends at 7 p.m. but will be confirmed by the preceptor or designee. Students may be required to work overnights and be ‘on call.’ Ideally, the student should:

  • Not be involved in patient care for greater than 24 continuous hours or required to attend patient hand-offs or didactic sessions for more than an additional 6 continuous hours (30 hours total).
  • Have two weekends per month free.  
  • Not typically work more than 60 hours per week, on average.