Foundations 1 Policy on Attendance and Participation


To specify the expectations and requirements for student attendance and participation in Bridges Curriculum Foundations 1 learning activities.


The Foundations 1 (F1) phase of the Bridges Curriculum comprises a range of educational activities that are enriched by active, shared learning. Settings include large and small groups, laboratory, simulation, and clinical workplaces. The expectation that students be fully engaged in these learning activities is predicated on:

  • The value of active team-based learning in students’ professional development and physicians’ work.
  • Students’ professional responsibility to contribute to the learning of peers by preparing for and participating fully in group learning activities.
  • The need to prioritize and avoid disruption to patient care in clinical workplaces, and to ensure that students are viewed as integral members of the care delivery team.
  • Respect for:
    • Patients who contribute generously to students’ education.
    • Faculty who would alternatively be engaged in patient care or other professional activities.
    • Staff who coordinate curricular activities.
  • The importance of students demonstrating expected competency in professionalism.
  • Alignment with accreditation and licensing standards.

Related LCME Standards

12.4: Access to Healthcare


  • Because medical school is a full-time endeavor, students are expected to make their medical school schedule their highest priority.
  • Consistent on-time attendance and participation demonstrate respect for the educational environment and are essential ways for the School to monitor student progress in multiple competencies.
  • Being on time and prepared to participate fully are essential to the effective work of learning teams.
  • Because predictable and unpredictable events affecting attendance can occur, the attendance policy should include provisions and procedures for such events.
  • Students are accountable for:
    • Accurately managing their schedules.
    • Monitoring their on-time attendance and participation.
    • Communicating professionally about absences.
    • Seeking the School’s assistance if personal circumstances interfere with their on-time attendance and participation.


  • Students are expected to attend lecture, large group, and laboratory sessions
  • Students are required to attend certain learning activities including:
    • Any session in which patients or standardized patients are physically present as part of the learning experience.
    • When patients are present, students are required to dress professionally (in accordance with the UCSF School of Medicine Dress Code Guidelines), arrive early or on time, and refrain from eating, drinking, and using laptops, cell phones, or other electronic devices.
    • Small groups.
    • Team based learning.
    • Clinical microsystem sessions.
    • Clinical skills sessions involving real or standardized patients.
    • Any other sessions marked as required. Students are expected to arrive on time and participate fully in educational activities
  • Students may request up to FIVE (5) discretionary absence days from required F1 year-one activities and up to THREE (3) discretionary absence days from required F1 year-two activities.
  • Reasons for requesting discretionary absence days may include important:
    • Personal and professional commitments.
    • Professional meetings.
    • Family events/obligations.
  • The following types of absences do not count toward one of the five discretionary absence days:
    • Healthcare issue.
    • Personal emergency.
    • Religious observances.
    • Specific preapproved required activities in unique programs (MSTP, PRIME-US).
  • Some required sessions, including certain clinical skills sessions with standardized patients, are not eligible for discretionary absences.
  • Discretionary absences may not all be used during a single block; nor may they be used during a single element of the curriculum (i.e., core inquiry curriculum, inquiry immersion, clinical microsystem clerkship).
  • Regarding make-up work for missed sessions:
    • Students are responsible for the content of any missed sessions.
    • Some sessions will have required make-up work.
  • The standard for passing each Foundations 1 course is 80% attendance at required sessions. Students whose number of absences exceeds this standard for any reason (discretionary, illness, or otherwise) will be required to complete make-up work to receive a passing grade.
  • Students with a pattern of attendance that is inconsistent with the principles of this policy will be counseled by a faculty member or dean and may receive a Professionalism/Physicianship evaluation.


Absence Requests

  • For all absence requests from required sessions, students must submit an online absence request form as far in advance as possible.
    • Students who request an absence from a required session and are absent from the session without having received approval of their request will be considered to have an unexcused absences.
    • Students who are absent from a required session for any reason who do not submit an absence request will be considered to have an Unexcused absence.
  • In addition to completing the online absence notification form, students who will be absent from their clinical microsystem must also notify by email their CMC Site Coordinator, Coach, and primary contact in the microsystem.
  • Minimum request requirements include:
    • For clinical skills sessions involving real or standardized patients and for clinical microsystem sessions, a request for a discretionary absence must be received a minimum of one week before the scheduled session.
    • For all other required sessions, a request for a planned absence must be received at least 24 hrs in advance of the session.
    • In the case of unexpected illness or emergency absences from required sessions, student communication must occur within 24 hours after the missed session whenever possible.


  • The illness category is appropriate for acute illness or flare of a documented chronic illness or disability.
  • If a student reports more than 3 consecutive or 5 non-consecutive absences due to illness within a course, course leadership will reach out to check in about the student’s wellness.
  • A health-related medical appointment is considered a Discretionary absence, not an illness absence.

Unexcused Absences

  • In particular situations, an Unexcused absence from a session may result in a student being responsible for any costs incurred in making up the session (e.g., for the cost of a standardized patient).

Makeup Work

  • Makeup work is required for some individual sessions, as determined by element and course directors. For these sessions, students must complete required make-up work by the assigned deadline, without reminders from course staff or faculty.
  • For sessions without required makeup work, students must independently ensure they can meet the objectives of the missed session.
  • Any student who is absent from more than 20% of the required sessions in a course will meet with the course director to determine a makeup assignment appropriate to the objectives or competencies for the set of missed sessions.

On-Time Arrival

  • Arrival time to required sessions will be monitored.
  • Students who arrive to small group after the session's scheduled start time will be noted to be “tardy.”
    • In unusual circumstances (e.g., the previous classroom session ran over scheduled time) instructors may alter the definition of late arrival to be for students who arrive to small group after the work has started.

Related Policies

Approval Date and Governing Body:  July 20, 2016, Executive Committee