Medical Excuse Policy

The James Madison University Health Center (UHC) does not provide students with medical excuses for short-term absences from class, labs, studios, exams or missed deadlines due to illness, injury or other UHC appointments. This policy is consistent with the James Madison University honor code, promotes appropriate discussions between students and professors, and allows us to dedicate our time to providing medical care for our students. This is consistent with recommendations from the American College Health Association.

In the event of a prolonged illness or injury requiring medical attention and an absence of more than three days, the UHC patient advocate works with the Office of the Dean of Students to provide students with necessary documentation.

We encourage our students to engage in self-care practices which includes avoiding the spread of infections such as colds and the flu by minimizing contact with others when acutely ill. Typically we do not advise students about absence from class unless a contagious illness (such as the flu) justifies that recommendation or requirement. The UHC will not disclose if a student has been seen at UHC and will only release medical records to the student, not to faculty. This policy reflects the confidentiality and privacy rights afforded UHC patients.

We acknowledge the challenges that faculty face when trying to be equitable regarding how to excuse an absence or deal with missed or delayed assignments. We recognize the significant role that faculty play in the overall development and maturation of the students. We believe that University students seek (and should be given) increasing levels of responsibility and trust as they mature and develop into dependable and reliable adults.

Disability Services Accommodation Paperwork

The medical providers at the University Health Center do not complete paperwork related to requests for accommodations through the Office of Disability Services (ODS). The documentation necessary to provide ODS with appropriate and accurate recommendations requires an established relationship between the individual and their clinician. The UHC provides intermittent care to students with injuries and common medical conditions that occur while here at JMU. This type of care does not allow the in-depth clinical relationship and insight necessary to provide the guidance ODS needs.

Patients who have ODS paperwork to be filled out by a clinician will need to have their personal medical or mental health provider complete the required forms.

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