Attendance Policy

Attendance at lectures, clinical rotations, workshops/labs, and skills sessions is vitally important for student understanding of the medical material due to the accelerated pace of PA education. In addition, participating as a team member is an important aspect of the physician assistant profession, thus course material is often reinforced through active learning and team-building activities. Attendance and tardiness will be monitored, and student performance recorded with or without actively notifying the student of each incident. Specific policy requirements for each phase of the program are outlined below.

Didactic Phase

  1. Absences
    1. The student should call the PA school main phone number (714-872-5685) or email (Paattendance@ketchum.edu) before 8:00 am if they will be absent from a lecture or skills session that day.
    2. Failure to inform the PA school of an absence prior to the lecture or skills session is considered an unexcused absence and may result in a Professional Performance Review. Advanced notification does not guarantee the absence will be excused and will be at the discretion of the Director of Didactic Education.
    3. More than three (3) absences (excused or unexcused) in a quarter may result in a Professional Performance review and impact your progression in the program.
  2. Missed class time
    1. Missed class time, including tardiness, is disruptive to the class. It is expected that all students will arrive to lecture and activities on time and be present the entire day.
    2. The student should call the PA school main phone number (714-872-5685) or email (Paattendance@ketchum.edu) if they will be more than 15 minutes late or miss class time for a lecture or skills session that day.
    3. Failure to inform the PA school of a tardiness/missed class time prior to the lecture or skills session is considered an unexcused absence and may result in a Professional Performance Review. Advanced notification does not guarantee the absence will be excused and will be at the discretion of the Director of Didactic Education.
    4. A pattern of missed class time/tardiness may result in a Professional Performance review and could impact the student’s grade for the course.

Vacations and holidays begin at 5pm on the last day of the schedule prior to a vacation.

Clinical Phase

All Clinical rotations have mandatory attendance. Students are expected to arrive on time and stay for the entire shift. When a student must be absent from a rotation site for any reason, the PA Clinical Team at paclinicaled@ketchum.edu and the supervising clinical preceptor must be notified on each day of absence. The student must request program authorization for any and all absences prior to discussion with the preceptor. Students are expected to have consistent, on-time attendance without absences or tardiness and satisfactory performance during the rotation. Attendance at a rotation site is defined as a minimum of 36-40 hours per week and a maximum of 55 hours per week unless the student agrees to work more than the maximum. This includes all on-call, after-hours, and/or weekend duties as provided by preceptor(s)/site. Students are also expected to seek out extra time in the clinic if it is an option.

  • The student must request program authorization for any and all absences prior to discussion with the preceptor.  Requests are to be submitted in writing to the Clinical Team at PAClinicalEd@ketchum.edu.
  • The preceptor/site and the Clinical Team must be notified simultaneously by email when the student is ill. The student must follow up the email with a phone call to the preceptor/site. A voice message is acceptable if no one can be reached.
  • Any absences greater than 2 days per a 6-week rotation period may result in the student receiving an “incomplete” or “fail” for the rotation. This decision will be at the discretion of the Director of Clinical Education.
  • Excused absences are at the discretion of the Director of Clinical Education. Excessive time away from a rotation for excused absences may require the student to request a leave of absence in order to avoid failing the rotation. Alternatively, a student may be required to make up missed time at a later date at the discretion of the DCE. In either circumstance, graduation may be delayed.
  • Unexcused absences are absences for personal social engagements, prospective job interviews, or any days missed that have not been approved by the Director of Clinical Education (or their designee).

Special Circumstances

There may be special circumstances that arise leading to unavoidable absence(s). A student is expected to discuss the absence with the Director of Didactic or Clinical Education. In unforeseen circumstances (car accident, injury), the student or their representative is expected to notify the School office at the earliest possible opportunity.