Grades of Failure and Incomplete In Clinical Clerkships and Clinical Courses

Grades Other Than Passing in Clinical Clerkships and Clinical Courses



Policy:

Students receiving a grade other than passing in a required clerkship or clinical course* must successfully remediate that course; students receiving a grade other than passing in other clerkship or clinical courses must successfully complete the necessary number of each type of course required for graduation.

Students receiving a grade of failure (F) in a required clerkship or required clinical course will be required to successfully repeat that course in a timely manner. Students requiring remediation on an NBME subject examination (N) in a clerkship will be required to successfully pass that examination in a timely manner. Students receiving a grade of incomplete (I) in a clerkship or clinical course will be required to successfully complete course requirements in a timely manner. Because grades of withdrawn failing (WF) and withdrawn passing (WP) are given prior to course completion, students receiving these grades in a required clerkship or clinical course will be required to successfully repeat the course in its entirety. Students receiving more than one grade of F, N, I, WF, and/or WP in clerkships or clinical courses may be required to remediate courses, repeat courses, or recycle an academic year, or may be dismissed from the School of Medicine. All decisions regarding course remediation, course completion, course repetition, recycling, dismissal, and academic progression are subject to approval by the Student Academic Standing Committee (SASC).

* For the purpose of this policy, clinical courses refer to acting internships, electives, and Scholarly Activity.

See also School of Medicine Grades

See also Medical Student Advancement

See also Student Academic Standing Committee

 

 

General Procedures:

1. Notification. Upon recognition that a student will receive a grade other than passing in a clinical clerkship or clinical course, the Course Director will send timely written notification to the student. A copy of the written correspondence will also be sent to the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education, the Associate Dean for Students, and the School of Medicine Registrar.

2. Academic Standing. Students receiving a grade of F or WF will be placed on Academic Probation until the receipt of a passing score on USMLE Step 2 CK, provided no other academic issues need resolution. Students receiving a grade of N will be placed on a status of Active with Deficiency until the receipt of a passing score on the second attempt of the NBME Subject Examination for the course, provided no other academic issues need resolution. Students receiving a grade of I will be placed on a status of Active with Deficiency until all course requirements are completed, provided no other academic issues need resolution. All grades other than passing and all actions related to the receipt of these grades will be reviewed by SASC.

3. Grades of F. Students receiving a grade of F in a required clerkship or clinical course must successfully remediate that course by repeating it; students receiving a grade of F in other clinical courses must successfully complete the necessary number of each type of course required for graduation. Note that students receiving a grade of F in a clerkship may be allowed to repeat that clerkship on a different campus than the campus on which the grade of F was received.

The following chart summarizes general actions related to grades of F in clerkships and clinical courses. Variations in circumstances and situations unique to individual students may alter these general guidelines. All decisions are subject to review and approval by the SASC.

 

Status

Continuation in Coursework

Remediation and Time Limit

Beginning New Coursework

1st Clerkship Failure

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of passing score on USMLE Step 2 CK provided no other academic issues need resolution

Student’s option to complete any clerkship, clinical course, or Scholarly Activity currently in progress or withdraw immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Must commence within 12 weeks of notification of failure by repeating the entire clerkship. Requests for an extension of this time limit must be approved by the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Medical Education prior to the deadline.

Upon completion of remediation

2nd Clerkship Failure

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Subject to dismissal

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing immediately prior to graduation if approved to continue

Required to withdraw from coursework immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

If approved to continue, must commence immediately upon return from involuntary leave by repeating the entire clerkship

Return to coursework dependent upon SASC decision

3rd Clerkship Failure

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Subject to dismissal

Required to withdraw from coursework immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

If approved to continue, must commence immediately upon return from involuntary leave by repeating the entire clerkship

Return to coursework dependent upon SASC decision

1st Clinical Course Failure (Scholarly Activity, AI, or Elective)

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing immediately prior to graduation

May continue in coursework

Must successfully complete the required number of each type of course required for graduation

N/A

2nd Clinical Course Failure (Scholarly Activity, AI, or Elective)

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Subject to dismissal

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing immediately prior to graduation if approved to continue

Required to withdraw immediately if in coursework. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

If approved to continue, must successfully complete the required number of each type of course required for graduation

Return to coursework dependent upon SASC decision

3rd Clinical Course Failure (Scholarly Activity, AI, or Elective)

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Subject to dismissal

Required to withdraw immediately if in coursework. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

If approved to continue, must successfully complete the required number of each type of course required for graduation

Return to coursework dependent upon SASC decision

4.  Grades of WF. A student who withdraws from a clerkship or clinical course prior to its completion and who receives a grade of WF is considered to have failed the course. Since a WF is a failing grade, it is treated in the same manner as a grade of F. All procedures related to notification, academic standing, and terms of remediation are the same as those for grades of F (see above).

5.  Grades of WP.  A student who withdraws from a clerkship or clinical course prior to its completion who receives a grade of WP will not be given credit for the course or any part thereof. The student will be reviewed by the SASC.

6.  Grades of N. A student who fails a clerkship NBME subject examination on the first attempt will receive a grade of N in the clerkship. Upon receipt of the score on the second attempt of the same NBME subject examination, the N grade will be amended to N/P or N/F as appropriate. A second failure of the same subject examination results in a failing grade for the course, and therefore treated in the same manner as a grade of F. In this case all procedures related to notification, academic standing, and terms of remediation are the same as those for grades of F (see above).

The following chart summarizes general actions related to grades of N. Variations in circumstances and situations unique to individual students may alter these general guidelines. All decisions are subject to review and approval by the SASC.

 

Status

Continuation in Coursework

Remediation and Time Limit

1st Clerkship Subject Exam Failure (N)

Active with Deficiency

Reviewed by SASC

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of passing score on subject examination provided no other academic issues need resolution

Student’s option to complete any clerkship, clinical course, or Scholarly Activity currently in progress or withdraw immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Must commence within 12 weeks of notification of failure by retaking the subject examination

2nd Clerkship Subject Exam Failure (Same Clerkship)

Grade of N/F in clerkship

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Usually returned to Active in Good Standing upon receipt of passing score on USMLE Step 2 CK provided no other academic issues need resolution

Required to withdraw from coursework immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

Must commence immediately upon return from involuntary leave by repeating entire clerkship

2nd Clerkship Subject Exam Failure (Different Clerkships)

Academic Probation

Reviewed by SASC

Subject to dismissal

Required to withdraw from coursework immediately. (Note: A grade of WP or WF may be required.)

Placed on Involuntary Leave of Absence

If approved to continue, remediation must commence immediately upon return from involuntary leave by successful retake of the subject examination

7. Grades of Incomplete. Students receiving a grade of incomplete (I) must successfully complete any missing required course components within the deadline stipulated by the Course Director. Failure to successfully complete missing course requirements or to complete them within the specified timeframe may result in a grade of F for the course. In this case the grade of F will be treated as outlined above.

8.  Multiple Grades Other Than Passing. Students receiving an additional grade other than pass in a clerkship or clinical course prior to remediating an already existing grade other than pass may be required to stop coursework, be placed on involuntary leave of absence, and be required to remediate all grades other than passing prior to entering any additional coursework. Students receiving a grade of F and/or WF in two or more clinical courses, regardless of the type of each course, may be required to stop coursework and take an involuntary leave of absence. Students who have received more than one grade other than pass in two or more clinical courses, regardless of the type of grade or the type of each course, may be dismissed from the School of Medicine by the SASC.

9.  Academic Dismissal. Academic dismissal will be considered for, but is not limited to, the following reasons:

  • Failure to successfully remediate
  • Failure to begin remediation within the specified deadline
  • Failure of two or more clerkship or clinical courses
  • Grades other than pass in two or more clerkships or clinical courses, regardless of the type of grade or type of course
10. SASC Authority.  All decisions regarding course remediation, course completion, course repetition, recycling, dismissal, and academic progression are subject to approval by the SASC. Students have the opportunity to respond and an opportunity to appeal any adverse decision by the SASC related to recycling, promotion, graduation, or dismissal.

 

 

This policy and procedure was adopted by the Executive Faculty of the University of Alabama School of Medicine and approved by the Dean on September 21, 1999.

Amended and approved by the School of Medicine Executive Committee May 21, 2013