This webpage provides answers to questions about our response to COVID-19 frequently asked by you and your classmates. This page will be updated regularly with new information, questions and answers as we continue to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. Our goal is to keep you as safe as possible while providing you the best medical education. For the latest updates and information, continue to check this webpage and your weekly COVID update emails.

Your Medical Education Team

Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to wear a mask in Volker Hall?

Yes. Effective July 29, 2021, masks are required indoors while on UAB's campus, regardless of vaccination status. With this update, there are limited times when you will be able to unmask in Volker Hall. 

  • You can unmask if you are alone in a private space (like a study room) with the door closed. 
  • You can briefly unmask while actively eating or drinking in a common space if you are able to maintain a minimum of 6 feet of social distance.

Do I need to wear a mask when I'm in the hospital or clinic?

Yes, you are required to wear a mask while in the hospital and engaged in patient care activities.


COVID-19 Vaccines

Are medical students required to be vaccinated against COVID-19?

No, COVID vaccinations are not required for medical students at this time.

Our team in Medical Education is here for you, and we are happy to answer your questions and discuss your concerns about the vaccine as you make your decision. 

How can I get a vaccine from UAB?

You can register for a vaccine from UAB online.

Are medical students required to be tested for COVID-19 before coming to campus?

No. As medical students, you were not required to be tested for COVID before returning to campus. You will be required to complete Healthcheck regularly.

Do I need to provide proof that I've been vaccinated?

No, you are not required to provide proof of vaccination.  We strongly encourage you to submit your vaccine documentation to Student Health Services now through your patient portal (whether you received a vaccine at UAB or a non-UAB site). This data helps UAB understand our progress of vaccinations on campus.

COVID-19 Testing and Healthcheck

How often am I expected to complete Healthcheck? 

At this time, all healthcare personnel, including you as medical students, are required to complete Healthcheck every day, including weekends and holidays, regardless of your vaccination status. Learn more about Healthcheck on the UAB United webpage

What happens if I don’t complete Healthcheck?

We must take your safety, the safety of your peers, and the safety of faculty and staff very seriously.  Failure to complete Healthcheck could result in the inability to participate in on-campus activities.  Failure to complete Healthcheck more than 3 times is considered unprofessional behavior and may be reported on in your Medical Student Performance Evaluation.


COVID-19 Exposure

What do I do if I get sick or if I think I’ve been exposed to COVID-19?

Report your exposure and/or symptoms in Healthcheck immediately and to Dr. Van Wagoner and cc Denise Coston. You are not required to disclose personal health information. Dr. Van Wagoner will inform your course directors of your need for absence. After reporting in Healthcheck and making Dr. Van Wagoner aware of your need for excuse from in-person activities, stay home until you receive direction from Student Health. Once you receive guidance from Student Health about how long you are to quarantine/isolate, please inform Dr. Van Wagoner and Ms. Coston; they will then contact your course director and let them know that you are excused from in-person activities.

If you are on a clinical rotation, we would also ask that you inform your team of your absence. 


Curriculum and Grading

Will my grades be affected if I report a possible COVID exposure?

Your grades will not be affected, and you will not be penalized for reporting exposure or symptoms.

If I have to miss time on a clerkship, how will I make up the time? 

How you will make up missed time will depend on the amount of time you missed.  You must complete at least 50 percent of clerkships engaged in direct patient care.  If you will miss less than 50 percent of a clerkship engaged in direct patient care, you are asked to complete the clerkship by participating in online course lectures and self-learning via completion of the Clerkships Online Curriculum.  If you find yourself in this circumstance, speak with the clerkship director to learn more about your independent learning plan.  If you will miss more than 50 percent of clinical time on a clerkship, you will need to enroll for an additional two weeks in that specialty to ensure that you have crossed the 50 percent requirement.  While you are away, you are asked to participate in online course lectures and the Clerkships Online Curriculum.

If I have to miss time on an elective, how will I make up the time?

If you are quarantined/isolated for 10-14 days of a 4-week elective, you will receive credit instead for a 2-week elective. If you are quarantined/isolated during a 2-week elective, you will need to drop that elective.

If I miss time on an Acting Internship, how will I make up the time?

An Acting Intern has the same number of days off a month as an Intern (4 days) and our school allows for an additional 2 days off for illness, family emergencies or conference presentations. If you are quarantined/isolated during an Acting Internship for more than the maximum 6 days allowed, you will need to make up missed time.

How does quarantine/isolation during a clerkship effect when I take the shelf examination?

While there will always be a need for individualization for unique circumstances, the following general recommendations are made regarding the timing of your Clerkship shelf exam completion:

  1. If you miss time due to asymptomatic quarantine/isolation but return before the end of the clerkship, you are expected to take the shelf exam on the expected date.
  2. If you experience and report symptoms that impair your ability to prepare for the exam during time of isolation, you may choose to still take the examination as scheduled for the clerkship or delay the examination.  You will work with the Clerkship leadership on finding a make-up date.
  3. If you are quarantined/isolated at the time of a shelf exam, you will need to delay the shelf exam until a future date.  You will work with the Clerkship leadership to find a make-up date.