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M.D. Program

M.D. Program


Computer ownership

All matriculating medical students are expected to own a portable computer that meets minimum specifications.  The faculty established this policy in 2003 to meet the following educational objectives.

  • Emphasize the critical role of information technology in medical
    education and medical practice.
  • Participate in required, in-class computer-based learning activities
    such team-based learning, calibrated peer review, on-line testing,
    digital microscopy, and access to the electronic medical record.
  • Enhance the learning experience of lectures, conferences, problem-based
    learning, and clinical activities by accessing web-based
    resources and tools for collaboration and communication.
  • Access critical resources for learning and information management
    while based at affiliated clinical sites.

Refer to: Computer Ownership

Attendance policy

Years 1 & 2
Class Attendance Policies in the Pre-Clerkship Curriculum
The purpose of this policy is to clarify responsibility and procedures for defining course-specific attendance policies and informing students of such policies.  The policy also defines a standard procedure for excused absences that can be modified by individual Instructors of Record.  

Refer to: Notification of class attendance (pdf) for full text/policy 

Year 3 Clerkships

In order to gain the knowledge and skills needed to successfully complete the third year, experiential learning is essential.  This requires a student to maintain consistent participation and attendance throughout the third year.

Refer to: Year 3 Absence Policy (pdf) 

Refer to: Year 3 Absence Form pdf) 

Duty hours

Years 3 & 4

Clinical education should be learner-focused, fostering the acquisition of excellent clinical skills and encouraging individual well-being.

Refer to: Duty Hours (pdf) for full text/policy

Drop policies

Years 1 & 2
The Instructor of Record may establish a course-specific policy that governs the student’s option to drop that course. Where a course-specific drop policy is established, it must be made available to the student in the course syllabus or in writing at the time of course enrollment. If a course-specific drop policy has not been established then the drop policy for the course defaults to the School of Medicine drop policy. Exceptions to the course-specific or School of Medicine drop policy may be granted only with the approval of both the Dean-level administrative officer whose portfolio includes curriculum and the Instructor of Record. The default School of Medicine policy allows students to drop a course at or before:

(1) 40% of the scheduled course hours have been completed (scheduled course hours is defined as the number of all scheduled contact hours for that student, in that course. This includes, but is not limited to laboratory, discussion, and lecture); or,

(2) 40% of the available course credits have been assigned (e.g., a course that includes ten 5 point quizzes and a 50 point final would permit a drop up to the eighth 5 point quiz), if this occurs before 40% of the scheduled course hours have been completed. (Am. 6/25/08)

Refer to: School of Medicine Bylaws & Regulations (pdf), Section 70 (H)

Year 3 Clerkships
Students taking any one of the required clerkships (IMD 430, FAP 430, SUR 430, PED 430, OBG 430, PSY 430) will only be allowed to drop the course at the discretion of the IOR(s) of that clerkship, who in consultation with the Associate Dean for Curriculum and Competency Development, feels that the student's circumstances are extenuating.  Otherwise, there is no pre-defined period of course completion in which a student may drop the clerkship without penalty (i.e. Y, I, or F).

Year 4
Fourth year students must obtain permission from a department to drop their course within two weeks of the first day of the rotation. Dropping Courses is not permitted by 4th Year students once the Registrar's Office begins graduation checks

Deferral of clerkships

Refer to: Committee on Educational Policy Guidelines: Deferral of Third Year Clerkships (pdf) for full text/policy

Third Year Selective Block Requirement - policy

The third year curriculum includes a four-­week block of time for students to broaden and enrich their clinical experience by exposure to core specialties that 1) are not represented in the required third year clerkships and 2) address content and skills that are applicable to a wide range of specialties (e.g. neurology, radiology, pathology). 

Third Year Selective Block Requirement Policy (Complete) - (pdf)

Examination policies

Year 1 & 2
Refer to: Exam Policy - Years 1 & 2 (pdf)

                Step 1 Policy

Year 3
Refer to: Exam Policy - Year 3 (pdf) 

Fourth year scheduling policies

The fourth year curriculum will provide you with breadth and depth of learning experiences while helping you attain competencies at an advanced level (sub-internship) in the domains of patient care, knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills, professionalism, system-based practice, life-long learning, and practice-based learning. The faculty expects that your program will be academically broad and vigorous, with courses and clerkships selected to prepare you for the supervised practice of medicine in any field. There is flexibility within the schedule to provide diverse opportunities for in-depth exploration of areas of interest to you while helping you to select and prepare for the residency of your choice.

Refer to Year 4 Scheduling: Fourth Year Scheduling (pdf) 

Grades and grading

Refer to: School of Medicine Bylaws & Regulations (pdf), Section 70 (A), (B), (D), (E), (F), (G), and (H): Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Medicine.

Leave of absence (PELP)

The Planned Educational Leave Program allows any registered student-undergraduate or graduate-to temporarily suspend academic work at UC Davis. Undergraduates may take one such leave during their academic career at UC Davis and that leave is limited to one quarter in duration. For graduate students the maximum leave is up to one year. Undergraduates apply for PELP at the Office of the University Registrar.  Graduate students apply through their departments and professional students apply through their Dean’s office.

 Refer to: Leave of Absence (pdf)

Reentering after research

Students returning to the School of Medicine to begin their clinical education after an extended absence may be expected to complete clinical refresher experience prior to returning to clerkships.

Learning disability accommodations

The School of Medicine is committed to providing accommodations to students that are found eligible for services.  The approved services may not alter the curriculum.  Students requesting services must follow the policies within the guidelines provided through the UC Davis, campus’ Student Disability Office (SDC) to receive accommodations. Please refer to: for policies and guidelines.  Please contact the School’s student disability coordinator for questions about making application for test accommodations for the USMLE step 1 or 2 CS or CK examinations.