Student Withdrawal

Leave of Absence and Resignation

Policy:

University of Alabama School of Medicine students are expected to proceed through the medical school curriculum in a continuous, uninterrupted fashion. In the event of extenuating circumstances which necessitate a temporary period of non-enrollment, students may request a leave of absence (LOA). In certain circumstances (i.e., academic difficulty, course or USMLE examination failure, failure to meet technical or professional standards), students may be placed on a leave of absence by the medical school.

A leave of absence is granted for a specific time period. Students not returning to an active status at the end of the time period of their leave of absence and who have not been approved for an extension of that time period will be considered as having resigned from the School of Medicine. Students returning from a leave of absence may be required to document that they have met previously established conditions in order to return to an active enrollment status.

Procedure:

I. Voluntary Leave of Absence

Students may request a leave of absence from the Associate Dean for Students. Typical reasons for requesting such a leave include, but are not limited to:

· medical reasons,

· academic reasons (including, but not limited to, the pursuit of a graduate degree, special studies/research, or fellowship opportunity),

· financial reasons, or

· personal reasons.

Students considering a leave of absence should meet with the Associate Dean for Students as early as possible to discuss a potential leave. The Associate Dean for Students may approve or deny the request for a leave of absence. If the request is approved, a time period for the leave and any conditions that need to be met prior to a return to active enrollment will be determined. Students who begin a leave of absence while enrolled in a course prior to its end date will receive a grade of WP (withdrawn passing) or WF (withdrawn failing) as determined by the course director. As with all other UASOM grades, these grades will be reviewed by the Student Academic Standing Committee (SASC).

A voluntary leave of absence may be approved for up to one year. Requests for an extended leave of absence beyond one year must be approved by the SASC. The approval of a leave of absence does not negate other UASOM policies related to course remediation or repetition, academic status, and time limits for successful completion of the curriculum, nor does it negate previous SASC decisions affecting the student. Students in the Medical Scientist Training Program may be exempt from these time limits.

Students on a voluntary leave of absence are expected to contact Medical Student Services at the start of each month during their leave of absence. Students planning a return from a leave of absence or considering a request to extend their leave of absence should meet with the Associate Dean for Students at least thirty days prior to the return date originally established.

II. Involuntary Leave of Absence

Students may be placed on a leave of absence by the medical school. Typical reasons for such action include, but are not limited to:

· academic difficulty,

· course failure,

· USMLE examination failure,

· multiple NBME subject examination failures, or

· failure to meet technical or professional standards

Students may be placed on an Involuntary Leave of Absence for academic reasons by the Student Academic Standing Committee (SASC). This committee will determine the academic requirements needed for the student to continue in medical school (i.e., remediation, full recycle), and may determine the length of the leave of absence and the conditions to be fulfilled prior to a return from leave. All decisions by the SASC are final, subject to student appeal. The appeal process in this circumstance is similar to that for all appeals of SASC actions. A student may opt to remain in coursework pending the decision of the SASC and any subsequent appeal. If the ultimate outcome of an SASC decision and/or appeal requires the student to end active enrollment prior to such a course's end date, the student will receive a grade of W (withdrawn).

Students may be placed on an Involuntary Leave of Absence by the Associate Dean for Students for non-academic reasons. The Medical Student Non-Academic Conduct Policy, the Impairment and Substance Abuse Policy, and/or the Technical Standards for the School of Medicine may be used to guide this decision.

An involuntary leave of absence does not negate other UASOM policies related to course remediation or repetition, academic status, and time limits for successful completion of the curriculum, nor does it negate previous SASC decisions affecting the student.

Students on an involuntary leave of absence are expected to contact Medical Student Services at the start of each month during their leave of absence. Students planning a return from a leave of absence or considering a request to voluntarily extend their leave of absence should meet with the Associate Dean for Students at least thirty days prior to the return date originally established.

III. Resignation

Students wishing to permanently end their enrollment in the School of Medicine must send or deliver a dated letter with their original signature to the Associate Dean for Students. The official date of a student's resignation will be the date of the receipt of this letter.

Students contemplating resignation or transfer should consult the Associate Dean for Students prior to making such a decision.

Approved by the School of Medicine Executive Committee May 21, 2013