The Boston University Chobanian and Avedisian School of Medicine and its curriculum committees have developed and implemented the following policies regarding the amount of time students spend in required activities during the first two years of medical school and the total required hours spent in clinical and educational activities during clinical clerkships.
Preclinical Curriculum Policy
Work Hours (i.e., “Scheduled Time”)
The amount of scheduled time in the preclinical curriculum is calculated in terms of hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled contact hours per week should be less than 28, averaged across a learning block (2-3 week period). Required activities to be completed outside of the classroom (e.g., self-guided learning, preparatory work) will be considered a type of scheduled activity, will be included on the student course schedule, and will be included in the scheduled contact hour calculations. This average does not include optional sessions (i.e., open discussions) or summative assessments. The Medical Education Committee reviews and approves the amount of time designated in the curriculum.
Coursework Scheduling and Student Obligations
Preclinical curriculum classwork is typically scheduled between 8:00am and 5:00pm, Monday – Friday. This includes activities scheduled in advance as well as activities that must be re-scheduled. On rare occasions students may be asked to attend clinical rotations or clinical skills experiences/assessments that occur outside of this schedule.
Preparatory Work: All hours above include preparatory work time to complete guided self-learning and knowledge self-assessments (done individually outside of the classroom) that must be done prior to class to enable students to participate in and benefit from in class experiences. Guided self-learning does not include: extra study or review that students will need, exam preparation, time for practice questions
Course hour details
PISCEs/LEADS Course time: 21 hours per week, averaged over a learning block with an additional 2 hours allotted for learning progress assessments during assessment weeks.
LEADS with PISCES Integrated Cases Weeks: In general, 20 hours of LEADS time and 8 hours of PISCEs integrated cases.
Doctoring Course time: 7 hours per week, on average
Third & Fourth Year
The work hours for medical students will be consistent within ACGME duty hour guidelines:
On-site hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a two-week period, inclusive of all in-house call activities. Students must be provided with one day in seven free from all educational and clinical responsibilities, averaged over a two-week period. One day is defined as one continuous 24-hour period free from all clinical, educational, and administrative activities.
In-house call must occur no more frequently than every fourth night, as averaged over a two-week period. Continuous on-site duty, including in house call, must not exceed 24 consecutive hours. Clinical and educational work periods must not exceed 24 hours of continuous scheduled clinical assignments.
Overnight call for our students varies across clerkships and is not required in all clerkships. In general, many clerkships have calls ending at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm or other abbreviated call experiences. Third and fourth year students participating in sub-internships or other special rotations may have call duty that differs and will be approved by the department and the curriculum committees.
Clerkship Scheduling and Student Obligations
Students are obligated to clerkships beginning the morning of the start date* of the clerkship rotation continuing until the point that students are released on the stop date* of the clerkship rotation. Students may be asked to participate in activities at any time and on any day during the clerkship providing that students do not violate the work hour policy.
Students do not have obligations on the weekend following each clerkship.
* The start and stop dates are university business days according to the approved rotation date schedule annually published by the college of medicine.
Reporting, Assessing, and Correcting Violations
Any violation of the work hours policy should be reported by students. Students can report concerns about work hours directly to the course or clerkship director or to an Associate Dean (Medical Education or Student Affairs). If the violation is not rectified, students must report the concern to an Associate Dean who will address the issue with the course or clerkship director, who will then investigate and report back in writing to the Associate Dean as to how the situation has been rectified.
In addition, course and clerkship specific evaluation forms requested by the Medical Education Office will have a question regarding adherence to work hours policy. Students who report work hours violations via this method remain anonymous, but the evaluation results are reviewed by the Associate Dean of Medical Education and course directors. This allows course leaders to rectify any violations in their course or clerkship.
Approved by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on June 10, 2010
Revised by the Medical Education Committee (MEC) on April 12, 2016, February 16, 2023