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Leaves of Absence: College of Medicine

All leaves of absence are granted by the Leave of Absence Committee. The Committee is appointed by the Dean of the College of Medicine, and chaired by the Dean of Students. A request for a leave of absence may be approved or disapproved by the Committee. Permission for the leave must be obtained in accordance with these procedures and prior approval to return must also be granted.

Requesting a Leave

To request a Leave of Absence from the College of Medicine, a student must:

  1. Obtain a Leave of Absence form from the Office of Student Affairs.
  2. Request a leave in writing as specified on the Leave of Absence form (available in the Office of Student Affairs). The request must include: the length of time desired for the leave (up to one year) reasons for the request; and a description of the activities that will make the leave meaningful and useful (outline a plan).
  3. This written request must be brought/sent to the Dean of Students, and the student must meet with one of the deans in the Office of Student Affairs.
  4. The student must continue in coursework (barring an emergency situation as defined by the Dean of Students), until the leave of absence is approved. The Leave of Absence Committee will usually request that the student meet with the Committee prior to granting approval for the leave.
  5. The Leave of Absence request will be reviewed at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Leave of Absence Committee.

Although the Leave of Absence Committee may grant a leave, the Academic Promotions Committee will review the student's academic status up until the time the leave was approved, and may take action. All grades earned by the student prior to the approval of the leave remain on the student's transcript (permanent record).

Leaves of absence may be granted for the following reasons:

  1. For Reasons of a Special Academic Program-Occasionally, leaves are granted for the purpose of special study. Written requests should be made to the Dean of Students with documentation.
  2. For Reasons of Health or Other Personal Emergency-If a health, family, social, or emotional situation necessitates time away from medical school, a leave of absence may be recommended by the Committee or requested by the student.

Consultants from the Student Health Service and/or psychiatric consultants may be asked to provide information to the committee, depending on the nature of the student's request. The student may wish to consent to the Committee's review of medical or psychiatric records.

Leaves of absence are granted for a maximum of one year. An extension may occasionally be granted by the Leave of Absence Committee for unusual circumstances if the student requests an extension in writing at least two months prior to the expected reentry date.

During the clinical years, leaves of less than twelve weeks that will not cause a delay of graduation may be granted by the Dean of Students (or designee).

Returning from a Leave

A student may only return if the Leave of Absence Committee determines that the student has met the goals and conditions for the leave. A request to reenter must be received by the Dean of Students by the date specified in the letter from the Leave of Absence Committee. Such requests will be evaluated in terms of the student's success in resolving the problems, which necessitated the leave and the student's ability to resume the responsibility of becoming a physician. Every student returning from a leave of absence must be cleared by the Student Health Service and receive written approval to resume classes or clinical work.

A student granted permission to return from a leave must meet with the Dean of Students (or a designee) to schedule courses for the academic year.

If at the end of the approved absence the student has not applied for reentry or is not permitted reentry, the student is withdrawn from the college. There is no appeal from this determination.