Withdrawal Policy

ARC-PA 5th ed Standard A3.15d

Students are permitted to withdraw from the program at their discretion following the University defined procedure found in the Graduate Studies Academic Catalog.

NOTE: Unless deceleration is offered, withdrawal from any individual course will not allow a student to progress in the program and result in dismissal from the program. Withdrawal is not the same as asking for a leave of absence/deceleration.

Parental Leave Policy

The GWU Department of PA Studies recognizes that all aspects of pregnancy are unique, even more so for the PA student. Therefore, the program is committed to supporting the student during all aspects of their education.  The department will support and accommodate the birth or adoption of a child while providing realistic options for the student to complete the program.

Didactic Phase

A student who is due to deliver or expecting a child during the didactic phase may discuss parental leave of absence with the Director of Didactic Education and Department Director, who will work to negotiate a detailed plan of return.

Clinical Phase

If a student becomes pregnant during the clinical phase, the programencourages notification of the student’s academic advisor, the clinical team, and the director or associate director to optimize the time available for planning an altered clinical phase. Additionally, it is strongly recommended that the student consults with an obstetrician to prevent potentially harmful exposures in clinical training environments.

Considering the complex decision-making surrounding having a baby while completing graduate medical education, no written policy can cover all contingencies and unique circumstances.  Therefore, the student must maintain open communication with the program to advocate and plan for the best outcomes for the student and the student’s baby.

Expectations of the student:

Letter of release from an obstetrician

  • The student must obtain a letter of release from their obstetrician (OB) to be submitted electronically to the clinical team after each routine OB visit throughout the clinical year.
  • This letter should confirm that the student can meet the Technical Standards for the program and provide any other specific details necessary for appropriate SCPE site scheduling.
  • Because the structure and demands of the clinical phase vary for each student, the approach to accommodating labor, delivery, and leave will differ depending on the specific SCPE schedule of the student and any necessary accommodations suggested by the student’s obstetrician.

Notification of the SCPE site

  • The program will not notify the SCPE site of the student’s pregnancy.  How the assigned SCPE preceptor is informed remains the prerogative of the student.  Please consider telling the preceptor before arriving at the site.

Clinical Year Schedule

  • The clinical team/DD/ADD will develop the clinical year schedule in close collaboration with the student, clearly explaining how the student will meet the Learning Outcomes and Instructional Objectives to satisfy the programmatic accreditation requirements.

Maternity Leave/Paternity Leave/Adoption

  • A student who is due to deliver or expecting a child during the clinical phase can take an 8-12 week parental leave.  The student will work with the department director and clinical team to negotiate a detailed plan of return.

All parties should complete and approve this plan at least three (3) months before the due date.