• Didactic Phase

Due to the intense rigor and rapid pace of the program, attendance for all classes, labs and curriculum related activities is mandatory. Learners are expected to be on time for class and should plan their schedules accordingly. Medical and personal appointments should be scheduled on evenings or weekends, as much as possible.

Requests for excused absences must be submitted to the Director of Didactic Education and Course Director using the program’s “Didactic Phase Absence Request Form” prior to the absence. All absences due to illness, accident or other unexpected personal or family events must be reported via e-mail or office phone number; to the Director of Didactic Education, the Course Director and the Program Director as soon as the learner is aware that he/she/they may miss class time. All other absences that are not pre-approved by the Director of Didactic Education and Course Director will be considered unexcused. An obligation for a professional organization responsibility may be considered. Requests for social events (early start to vacation, family reunion, weddings etc.) will not be granted. Only urgent medical or emergent absences will be excused on exam days. Unexcused absences, repeated absences or repeated tardiness may be considered unprofessional behavior and can be grounds for disciplinary action.

  • Clinical Phase


Attendance and timeliness is a demonstration of professional behavior and conduct which impacts all members of the healthcare team, including fellow learners and patients. Any absence from the clinical rotation may have a direct impact on learner performance, the broad- spectrum clinical experience, evaluation of professionalism, overall grade, and the successful completion of the clinical rotation.

The PA learner should be involved in all activities that the preceptor would engage in during the clinical day. Learners are not exempt from on-call, evening, weekend, or holiday clinical responsibilities unless the preceptor has determined these activities are not contributory to the learners’ learning experience.

Learners are expected to attend all scheduled clinical rotation didactic conferences, lectures, workshops, and daily patient rounds. Mandatory sessions and participation requirements in the clinical phase are determined by the individual clinical rotation. Recognizing that situations arise that require learners to miss time from their lectures/clinical responsibilities, the procedures presented below will be followed when an unplanned absence is necessary.

  • In the event of an illness or emergency necessitating absence from the clinical rotation, learners must notify both the Director of Clinical Education (DCE) and the clinical preceptor by 8:00 a.m. on the day of the absence. Learners should make every effort to reach, by phone, the clinical preceptor and DCE rather than utilizing voicemail and email. Learners are required to submit appropriate documentation supporting the reason for any unplanned absence(s).
  • If a learner fails to report an absence, they will be required to make up the time missed from the clinical rotation and receive a 5-point deduction on the Clinical Preceptor End of Rotation Clinical Performance Evaluation.
  • Learners are required to submit a written request for approval of any anticipated absence, to the DCE, prior to the absence. The DCE will communicate with the learner regarding details of the anticipated absence, preceptor notification and preceptor approval. Learners should not seek approval from the preceptor without prior approval by the DCE lest this be considered an unexcused absence.
  • If a learner misses up to five (5) days on any rotation, he/she/they must discuss with the preceptor ways to make-up the missed time. If there is no opportunity for the learner to make up the missed days at that clinical site, the learner must discuss make-up time at another clinical site with the DCE. If there are no available clinical rotation site contiguous with the current cycle, the learner will receive an Incomplete-grade until the hours have been made up.
  • In the event that a learner misses more than five (5) days on any rotation for an excused absence, they will be required to repeat the rotation.
  • Learners may be required by some clinical sites to engage in clinical or educational activities during the evenings and/or weekends.
  • If the preceptor or his/her/they designee is unavailable to work with the learner for 2 or more scheduled clinical days (e.g. vacation, scheduled days off, etc.), the learner is required to notify the DCE so that an alternate assignment may be made.
  • Learners are required to return to campus at the completion of each rotation for academic and professional activities such as case presentations, End-of-Rotation Exams, OSCEs, and other designated program endeavors.


  • If a learner arrives to the clinical site 30 minutes late or leaves the clinical site 30 minutes early, he/she/they is required to notify the Clinical Preceptor and the DCE immediately.
  • If a learner accumulates lateness hours totaling 5 hours this constitutes 1 unexcused absence. The procedure and policy for unexcused absences will then be applied.

Professional Activities

  • Absence from a clinical site during a PA educational conference (e.g., AAPA, NYSSPA) for the purpose of conference attendance may be permitted with the permission of the DCE in consultation with the Program Director. The learner is still responsible for ensuring that any rotation benchmarks are not compromised by conference attendance.

Consideration will be given for activities such as elected learner representation to various committees and/or organizations. The learner must provide the documentation requested to DCE. The DCE will respond to the learner’s request in writing. Learners who miss scheduled hours are expected to acquire the same level of competency as other learners involved in the clinical rotation. Lectures, reading assignments and work load will not be re-created or offset to accommodate any absences.