Procedures and Guidelines

Leave of Absence

Categories: attendance leave of absence UGME

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To ensure students have the ability to request defined periods of time away from the Undergraduate Medical Education (UGME) Program.


Consideration will be given to reasonable requests for time away from the UGME program.

All leaves must ensure that when granted, will not compromise the student and program goal for a successful outcome of their undergraduate education.

Scope of this Policy:

This Policy pertains to all UGME students in the University of Saskatchewan, College of Medicine.

This Policy includes students based in all current UGME program sites.

This option for leave exists outside the current policies guiding both the Pre-Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy and the Clerkship Attendance and Absence Policy  of the MD Program.

This Policy is to consider long term leave of absences (ie. Personal, health related, parental, educational, or related to professionalism concerns, or where a student may temporarily be unable to meet the technical standards).


The UGME Program reserves the right to grant defined leave of absences while maintaining expectations and rigors of a professional program.


Administrative staff with oversight by the Program Manager and Academic Director are responsible for operationalizing the procedures outlined, in consultation as required with the Associate Dean UGME.


Instances or concerns of non-compliance with the Leave of Absence Policy should be brought to the attention of the Vice-Dean, Education or the Associate Dean, Undergraduate Medical Education, within the College of Medicine. 


Requested leaves:

  • Students shall apply in writing (email letter is permissible) to the Academic Director, cc’ing the Program Manager requesting a defined period away from the UGME program. This request will be shared with the Associate Dean Undergraduate Medical Education, Year Chair, Year Site Coordinator.
  • This request must be made not less than 30 days prior to the student’s requested start date for the leave, whenever possible.
  • The program will consider all documentation and information in order to consider an approval or an amended recommendation for a leave. For reasons of privacy, students may submit documentation through the Office of Student Affairs at the relevant site and the Office of Student Affairs will confirm receipt with the UGME program.
  • Given that requests for leave of absence may come at times that do not coincide with Student Academic Management Committee (SAMC) meetings, the Committee grants the Academic Director, in consultation with the appropriate Year Chair and the Associate Dean, the authority to approve student leaves and withdrawals, and student requests for re-entry into the program after brief absences or leaves.
  • SAMC, whenever feasible, will be involved in decisions regarding return to program after an extended leave.

 Required leaves:

  • Should a student's personal health change or professionalism issues be identified such that the student’s participation in the program may present a risk to others or the student is no longer able to meet the Technical Standards (Essential Skills and Abilities Required for the Study of Medicine), then the student may be required to take a leave or withdraw from the program until such a time that the student no longer poses a risk or until the student is able to meet the Technical Standards.

 Both requested and required leaves:

  • The College of Medicine reserves the right to determine conditions of return to the program, including that a student may have to repeat portions of the program, if the leave requested exceeds reasonable expectation for retaining required clinical skills or to effectively make up material missed during the leave.
  • The process for return to the program and any conditions of return will be outlined in writing to the applicant.

Communication & Distribution

This policy will be housed on the College of Medicine Sharepoint, in the UGME Admin common folder.  It will also be housed in SAMC Sharepoint folder.  This policy will be posted on the College of Medicine website, under the Policies tab of the Students dropdown menu, as well as the policies tab of the Faculty Dropdown menu.  Any updates approved by SAMC will be distributed to all Year Chairs and all admin coordinators/support staff responsible for the MD program across the province, who will distribute it to all faculty leads and the Year Sub-committees and Clerkship Sub-committee.


Academic Director, UGME
Phone: 306-966-2750