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Help! School Disregarding Their Late Attendance Policy

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bikinitop

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Hi everyone,

I’m 3 months into med school and have had a few issues with arriving early, usually due to unpredictability in traffic and the rare personal issue and now I’m being threatened with expulsion due to lateness even though I haven’t been late, based on their policy.

Class begins at 8:00 AM. I was “late” 4 times, arriving at 8:04, 8:01, 8:09 and 8:03, in that order. I was reprimanded the 3rd time and was informed that I may be expelled if I had “repeated tardiness.” The 8:03 arrival prompted them to schedule a hearing regarding my case, scheduled for next Monday.

Contradiction: their Medical Student Handbook states, “Arriving in excess of 8 minutes after the scheduled start time of classes constitutes tardiness.” My notification of the hearing says that I am being referred to X Board for “repeated tardiness, as outlined in the Medical Student Handbook.” However, based on the handbook, Ive only been tardy once.

Since it’s unfortunately past the point of my just arriving at 6 AM and waiting for doors to open, the fact stands that they are disregarding their own policies.

What are my best options now? Do I bring up the deviation from the school handbook and politely fight it by replying to their email mandating a board hearing, apologizing but clarifying that based on the referenced handbook I was not tardy and shouldn’t be punished for a handbook violation if I did not actually violate the handbook? or should/could i Do more?

Should I just tuck my tail and take the punishment? Should I bring someone with me to the hearing?

Regardless of my fighting it, this hearing will be a blemish on my MSPE whether I’m found to have broken 0 policies or 3. Worst case scenario, they expel me and I have to choose a new path.

I appreciate any advice!!

TL;DR — being threatened with expulsion for being “late” several times but according to the handbook”/ definition, Ive only been late once. Should I push back? Or do I just continue to be kind/apologetic and beg for forgiveness? And in either case, what’s the best method to do it? Please help!

Aside: I shouldn’t worry about others, but I must mention the male who is late for every class (12+ minutes 2-3 times weekly). He is an Air Force pilot, so it’s reasonable to say there are no big medical issues and that the only thing keeping him exempt from expulsion is his friendship with the faculty member who has been tracking my attendance.

Also, this isn’t the first time they’ve disregarded their own policies.
 

TragicalDrFaust

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Do you understand how poorly lateness reflects on you? And the fact that you’ve only noticed one other student who’s late makes it clear that it’s not acceptable behavior within the culture of your school. This is a habit you need to get out of before rotations and employment. It will keep getting you in trouble. In medicine, lateness is viewed as unprofessional and disrespectful of others’ time.

It’s obvious you think there’s some favoritism going on. Don’t bring it up. You could make a huge ass of yourself if it turns out this classmate is late because of family or work obligations. You don’t know the entire situation and it will never work out well for you if you try to point the finger at someone else.

If it were me, I wouldn’t mention the 8 minute rule. Others might disagree with me. But you could be 7 minute late every day and that still looks bad whether it’s class or rotations. If you show up for work 7 minutes late and you’re supposed to see 15 patients that day, you’ve wasted almost 2 hours of other people’s time in a single day, assuming they all show up on time and have to wait for you to play catch up.
 
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Natremia

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Wjy would you “beg for forgiveness?” They aren’t adhering to their own policies. They can’t just make up **** on the fly

Id kindly bring attention to their own policies. If they double down and ignore them and threaten anything meaningful that can put your career in jeopardy I would lawyer up. If their policy indeed states a 8 minute grace window AND you have proof of the times when you arrived then it’s a slam dunk case.
 
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ciestar

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When threatened with expulsion, you need to bring up their own policies. That said, you also need to start leaving earlier.
 
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Neopolymath

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Dude, what the heck are you doing? Forget the policy for a second. Are you a 13 year old depending on mommy for a ride? If not, time to be an adult and get to work on time. It doesn't matter if there is traffic or other inconvenient things that make you have to leave way earlier and "waste" time. If you don't like that then you need to live closer to the school or change some things up.

Just keeping it real here. Med school has some hurdles. Don't make some completely stupid extra and avoidable ones for yourself. Good luck.

Edit: of course you should force them to admit they aren't in compliance with their own rule but that is a separate issue here.
 
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theendisnigh

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Jesus, what school threatens with explusion for tardiness to your regular lecture
 
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Osteosaur

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Set TWO ALARMS 30 minutes earlier than you mean to get up. Get in this habit because where this really won't fly is clinical rotations where you need to be standing there and ready to round.

Lateness AFTER the repremand looks bad.

Now I am assuming they are at this point just threatening to put a black mark on your MSPE at the hearing? The best you can do is change your behavior going forward and be apologetic. Lawyering isn't going to get you anywhere. Your goal is to not get that on your MSPE so do what it takes. Make them like you and empathize with you and see it is to everyone's advantage. "Oh I am having trouble adjusting but I made this change it isn't happening anymore."

What combination elementary school/med school are you at anyway? LECOM?
 
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Lawpy

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I don't know why the school is behaving like a dictatorship and treating adult students as kids, but agreed that you need to leave home a lot earlier
 
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DrStephenStrange

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What the hell kind of DO school is this? My school has mandatory attendance policy (depending on grades), but no body really cares, and they never threatened anyone with expulsion let alone putting bad comments on our MSPE. How the fck do they even have time for this bull**** anyways? Jeez, that sucks!
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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What the hell kind of DO school is this? My school has mandatory attendance policy (depending on grades), but no body really cares, and they never threatened anyone with expulsion let alone putting bad comments on our MSPE. How the fck do they even have time this bull**** anyways? Jeez, that sucks!
Plus with covid no school should be having mandatory attendance anyway…

Being late to class also wasn't an issue at my school as long as you were there in time to sign in if it was a class that took attendance(which was a small minority of classes) Agreed, your school is unnecessarily harsh.
 
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Doc_Ock

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Screw some of the people on this thread, your school has to abide by it's own damn rules. You shouldn't even have to go to a crappy lecture anyway.
 
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hiiiiiiiiiii

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Your school sounds like it sucks tbh. I would hate to go to a school full of sticklers. Nothing even happens in the first 10 minutes of class lol. And to any of the people bashing this kid, professors are late more times than not. Get off your high horse jeeze
 
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FluffyCat1212

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Yikes. I'm so sorry that you're having to go through this, OP. I'm also super curious as to what school is enacting this asinine policy. Yeah, lateness isn't a great look, but basically ruining someone's chances at a medical career over 4 tardies (one by just 1 minute)?! Adjusting to the med school environment is part of starting med school and one would think that they'd have some grace for someone who literally just started...

That being said, it sounds like you do have a good leg to stand on in the sense that they are not even following their own guidelines. That's all I've got. Good luck, OP.
 
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xffan624

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Hi everyone,

I’m 3 months into med school and have had a few issues with arriving early, usually due to unpredictability in traffic and the rare personal issue and now I’m being threatened with expulsion due to lateness even though I haven’t been late, based on their policy.

Class begins at 8:00 AM. I was “late” 4 times, arriving at 8:04, 8:01, 8:09 and 8:03, in that order. I was reprimanded the 3rd time and was informed that I may be expelled if I had “repeated tardiness.” The 8:03 arrival prompted them to schedule a hearing regarding my case, scheduled for next Monday.

Contradiction: their Medical Student Handbook states, “Arriving in excess of 8 minutes after the scheduled start time of classes constitutes tardiness.” My notification of the hearing says that I am being referred to X Board for “repeated tardiness, as outlined in the Medical Student Handbook.” However, based on the handbook, Ive only been tardy once.

Since it’s unfortunately past the point of my just arriving at 6 AM and waiting for doors to open, the fact stands that they are disregarding their own policies.

What are my best options now? Do I bring up the deviation from the school handbook and politely fight it by replying to their email mandating a board hearing, apologizing but clarifying that based on the referenced handbook I was not tardy and shouldn’t be punished for a handbook violation if I did not actually violate the handbook? or should/could i Do more?

Should I just tuck my tail and take the punishment? Should I bring someone with me to the hearing?

Regardless of my fighting it, this hearing will be a blemish on my MSPE whether I’m found to have broken 0 policies or 3. Worst case scenario, they expel me and I have to choose a new path.

I appreciate any advice!!

TL;DR — being threatened with expulsion for being “late” several times but according to the handbook”/ definition, Ive only been late once. Should I push back? Or do I just continue to be kind/apologetic and beg for forgiveness? And in either case, what’s the best method to do it? Please help!

Aside: I shouldn’t worry about others, but I must mention the male who is late for every class (12+ minutes 2-3 times weekly). He is an Air Force pilot, so it’s reasonable to say there are no big medical issues and that the only thing keeping him exempt from expulsion is his friendship with the faculty member who has been tracking my attendance.

Also, this isn’t the first time they’ve disregarded their own policies.
Normally, I think @Goro is exaggerating a bit when he asks this, but in this case it's definitely due. "Holy &!&, what penal colony is this?"

In other news, OP as gracefully as you can, point out the policy discrepancy regarding tardiness AND profusely apologize to do better in the future (and do so). As ridiculous as this policy is, you're the one going to this school and the only opinion regarding this policy that matters is the school's not mine or other contributors to this thread who think it's ridiculous and absurd. You're stuck there for another couple years so this needs to be a non-issue moving forward especially during MS3 where tardiness most definitely matters and can land you in hot water even in less prison like schools.
 
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Goro

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xfan beat to the punch, but OP, the two most important points have already been made.

1) Do not roll over to these draconian and blatantly stupid rules. You did NOT violate the student handbook in 3 of the 4 incidents. You do need to point this out if threats of expulsion are made. You also need to be remorseful and professional, and give them a remediation plan as to how you will not arrive late anymore.

2) You're an adult now, and if you're expected to be at a place at 8, you show up by 8. I remember hearing of rotating students who arrived late for surgery and they weren't allowed into the OR upon arrival.
 
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Some of the people on this thread are ridiculously harsh.

First, the idea that someone should be expelled for arriving less than 5 mins to class (which really should be optional anyways) is ridiculous and is a problem mentality instilled into many DO schools. In my days of med school, they couldnt drag me to class most of the time, I learned better outside the classroom.

OP, don't start off aggressive with them; see what they say first. Don't play all your cards at the start. If they start using terms like expulsion, then I would kindly (emphasis on kindly) remind them of the student handbook, and I would try to show some documentation of what time you arrived. You win by beating them at their own game, but also showing resolve/calmness. If you let them see you're irritated/upset you will only build their case against you. Remain calm, keep a cool a head.

I don't judge you for being late to class, especially by a few minutes. If that is your worst flaw, I would say you're a good student.
 
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Osteosaur

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Want to reiterate that school is definitely being ridiculous and fight expulsion with all you have if it comes to that.

But for the moment, as a student, it sounds like your main goal is to keep your MSPE clean which might be a lot of groveling and profuse apologizing.

Its absolutely bull****. The unfortunate thing with medical school and residency is they can threaten you however you like during those 8 years and you just need to take it to make it through.
 
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Neopolymath

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Guys, two things can simultaneously be true.

OP's school is stupid.
OP isnt acting like an adult by showing up late.

We shouldn't even be having this conversation. Whether the policy is stupid or not (duh) doesn't change that it exists and OP needs to follow it as a professional and as an adult. It's not being harsh at all. They aren't showing up late to trivia night. They are showing up late to their job for which they pay 50k+ a year and one day will be paid 200k+ a year to do. It is completely immaterial if lecture is pointless or whatever and is distracting from the 2 core issues here. Pretending OP needs to be pet is weird. OP can talk to momma for that if it's upsetting. This is something that will tear them up M3 if they keep screwing around.
 
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bikinitop

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Set TWO ALARMS 30 minutes earlier than you mean to get up. Get in this habit because where this really won't fly is clinical rotations where you need to be standing there and ready to round.

Lateness AFTER the repremand looks bad.

Now I am assuming they are at this point just threatening to put a black mark on your MSPE at the hearing? The best you can do is change your behavior going forward and be apologetic. Lawyering isn't going to get you anywhere. Your goal is to not get that on your MSPE so do what it takes. Make them like you and empathize with you and see it is to everyone's advantage. "Oh I am having trouble adjusting but I made this change it isn't happening anymore."

What combination elementary school/med school are you at anyway? LECOM?
HAHAHA! That's me laughing at the "combination elementary school" comment because it feels that way to me now, tbh, even more so since the lectures aren't even mandatory (so I'm sure that tells you that I'm not at LECOM because I think their lecture attendance policy is 80%, right?). I want to say which school because of the experience I'm having and because I want to let any future students know not to live in this awesome neighborhood because of the unpredictability, but I don't want to give too many identifiers since this situation seems to be happening to me only.

Thank you for the advices! I like your idea and I'll probably come up with a way to go that route while politely bringing up the handbook to hopefully deter them, but also take responsibility and just get there at 7 AM every day since maybe this traffic situation doesn't happen that early. Especially since I am pretty good at getting up and ready on time, maybe snoozing once or twice but never enough to hurt my routine. I get dressed, eat while I review material for 30 min., then leave early enough to be in my seat 15 min. before class. I originally got there 30 min. early but I was unproductive because everyone is super social and headphones isn't enough to deter anyone from chatting you up in this class. It was during the times that I was arriving 30 min. early when I was late the first 2 times.

I took this part out of the original post because it was long and I didn't want to deter any readers because SCARED. But after the original reprimand I told them of the traffic situation that day and the previous times and they said understood but "don't let it happen again" of course. I assured them of a different route I would take that had been working well. I thought it was working well but it was only going well because of the weird unpredictable traffic situation not happening again. There are 2 other students in my neighborhood who live about 1 block over and I leave 10 minutes before them daily. When the weird traffic phenomena occur where we all end up in the traffic standstill about 1 mile from our neighborhood and whenever I'm late, they're arriving within seconds of me instead of 10 min after like usual. I see now that the jam occurs on the 1 road we HAVE to take to get to the school and it affects the roads branching from it too because no one lets you in line from the side road because everyone in the jam is probably late now. Funny thing is that the other 2 students said they have not been summoned to the board... just me... They didn't even get the reprimanding I got. Maybe I'm just being made the example or maybe they're lying? Or maybe it is that the person who has been keeping track of my attendance times has it out for me. Either way, it doesn't matter. I'll just have to suck it up and try the 7 AM thing now.

Thanks again
 
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bikinitop

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Some of the people on this thread are ridiculously harsh.

First, the idea that someone should be expelled for arriving less than 5 mins to class (which really should be optional anyways) is ridiculous and is a problem mentality instilled into many DO schools. In my days of med school, they couldnt drag me to class most of the time, I learned better outside the classroom.

OP, don't start off aggressive with them; see what they say first. Don't play all your cards at the start. If they start using terms like expulsion, then I would kindly (emphasis on kindly) remind them of the student handbook, and I would try to show some documentation of what time you arrived. You win by beating them at their own game, but also showing resolve/calmness. If you let them see you're irritated/upset you will only build their case against you. Remain calm, keep a cool a head.

I don't judge you for being late to class, especially by a few minutes. If that is your worst flaw, I would say you're a good student.
This comment was like the tissue to wipe away all my tears. Thank you. I was feeling really down about this and had already begun searching for my next career option because I was to the point of thinking I can't be a physician if I don't figure this issue out. I'm really military about my own attendance. Someone could kidnap me easily based on how routine I am about leaving home and getting in the school at the right time, but luckily on the same note I'd be reported missing swiftly thanks to my routine ways.

Thank you for reassuring me that I'm still worth something as a student despite not quite figuring out this road's traffic phenomenon yet. I've resolved to get there at 7 AM instead and hope the traffic doesn't ever clog up that early. I've never wished more than I do now that I was genius enough to learn at home by myself!
 

bikinitop

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The unfortunate thing with medical school and residency is they can threaten you however you like during those 8 years and you just need to take it to make it through.
So basically I'm in a fraternity now? Lol, I guess it was bound to happen, no matter how much I avoided it in undergrad.
 

Goro

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So basically I'm in a fraternity now? Lol, I guess it was bound to happen, no matter how much I avoided it in undergrad.
Fraternity? No. 4 years of Professional School? Yes. After that it's 3-5+ years of a job.

No one in this thread is saying you lack worth. We are giving you advice to make sure that you are able to graduate and go on to live your dream.

Can you elaborate on something?
Lecture is not mandatory at your school, but yet you're required to arrive in class at a particular time?

This implies that you are late for something other than a lecture, like a lab, an exam or other sort of assessment, or a some sort of team based event. That's where the onus really is on you to arrive on time.

I fully understand that traffic can be a chore, if not even a nightmare. I grew up in New York after all and no from traffic. But continued lateness from traffic is an excuse. It is your responsibility to get up on time to avoid the traffic and arrive on time.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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Fraternity? No. 4 years of Professional School? Yes. After that it's 3-5+ years of a job.

No one in this thread is saying you lack worth. We are giving you advice to make sure that you are able to graduate and go on to live your dream.

Can you elaborate on something?
Lecture is not mandatory at your school, but yet you're required to arrive in class at a particular time?

This implies that you are late for something other than a lecture, like a lab, an exam or other sort of assessment, or a some sort of team based event. That's where the onus really is on you to arrive on time.

I fully understand that traffic can be a chore, if not even a nightmare. I grew up in New York after all and no from traffic. But continued lateness from traffic is an excuse. It is your responsibility to get up on time to avoid the traffic and arrive on time.
Bingo, this is likely due to being tardy for labs, exams, PBL activity or a guest lecture or a non clinical intraproffesional activity, those are the only things the school would go after a student like this. In which case I kind of support the school, these things are in the syllabus and student handbook, it’s a select few things you kind of need to show up to time for, this likely isn’t a everyday 8 am lecture kind of thing(as OP has stated that his school doesn’t have mandatory lectures)
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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This comment was like the tissue to wipe away all my tears. Thank you. I was feeling really down about this and had already begun searching for my next career option because I was to the point of thinking I can't be a physician if I don't figure this issue out. I'm really military about my own attendance. Someone could kidnap me easily based on how routine I am about leaving home and getting in the school at the right time, but luckily on the same note I'd be reported missing swiftly thanks to my routine ways.

Thank you for reassuring me that I'm still worth something as a student despite not quite figuring out this road's traffic phenomenon yet. I've resolved to get there at 7 AM instead and hope the traffic doesn't ever clog up that early. I've never wished more than I do now that I was genius enough to learn at home by myself!
Something about this comment sounds very very trollish, very fishy…… you need to figure out your traffic problems, or else you will absolutely get flored in your 3rd year, where if you are on time your considered late.
 
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DameJulie

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OP this might not sound pleasant, but please don't burn your bridges with the admins because of this. Try to wake up 15-20 mins earlier or ride with a neighbor, and it should resolve the problem.

The school's policy seemed pretty strict, but you'll be held accountable for arriving early when you advance further in your training (usually it goes without said).
 
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Goro

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Something about this comment sounds very very trollish, very fishy…… you need to figure out your traffic problems, or else you will absolutely get flored in your 3rd year, where if you are on time your considered late.
There are tons of SDNers who lash out when they don't hear what they want to hear.
 
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bikinitop

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There are tons of SDNers who lash out when they don't hear what they want to hear.
Am I the one lashing out in this situation? I’m confused since I don’t think I was mean to anyone.
Can you elaborate on something?
Lecture is not mandatory at your school, but yet you're required to arrive in class at a particular time?

This implies that you are late for something other than a lecture, like a lab, an exam or other sort of assessment, or a some sort of team based event. That's where the onus really is on you to arrive on time.

I fully understand that traffic can be a chore, if not even a nightmare. I grew up in New York after all and no from traffic. But continued lateness from traffic is an excuse. It is your responsibility to get up on time to avoid the traffic and arrive on time.
You would think, but no. Regular lectures. I remain in the building all day every day so when our labs and group meetings happen, I’m already there. The few guest lecturers we've had have been in the afternoons.

I thought I said this in some other reply but it seems not — the reason given to me in my reprimand notice for this issue was “arriving late causes a distraction and shows lack of respect and regard for other students and lecturers.” It really made me want to just stop going to lectures because it would easily solve the problem but I know my grades would drop tremendously if I did. There’s something about the interaction and ability to ask questions as it happens that maybe solidifies the learning for me.
But like I said, I’ll just try the whole 7 AM thing from now on since it’ll be less hassle than struggling with admin.
 

FutureDoctor5000

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Am I the one lashing out in this situation? I’m confused since I don’t think I was mean to anyone.

You would think, but no. Regular lectures. I remain in the building all day every day so when our labs and group meetings happen, I’m already there. The few guest lecturers we've had have been in the afternoons.

I thought I said this in some other reply but it seems not — the reason given to me in my reprimand notice for this issue was “arriving late causes a distraction and shows lack of respect and regard for other students and lecturers.” It really made me want to just stop going to lectures because it would easily solve the problem but I know my grades would drop tremendously if I did. There’s something about the interaction and ability to ask questions as it happens that maybe solidifies the learning for me.
But like I said, I’ll just try the whole 7 AM thing from now on since it’ll be less hassle than struggling with admin.
But how can they reprimand you for being late to something that isn’t even required for you to
attend in the first place? This is a troll post. Good job OP you got us!
 
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bikinitop

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But how can they reprimand you for being late to something that isn’t even required for you to
attend in the first place? This is a troll post. Good job OP you got us!
As I said, their reprimand essentially said it’s “disrespectful” and “distracting”. And as others have said already, this is med school and they can do whatever for the next 8 years and I just have to take it.

I really wish this was a troll post and I wish I could post screenshots of everything I’m telling you without compromising anonymity.
 

FutureDoctor5000

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As I said, their reprimand essentially said it’s “disrespectful”. And as others have said already, this is med school and they can do whatever for the next 8 years and I just have to take it.

I really wish this was a troll post and I wish I could post screenshots of everything I’m telling you without compromising anonymity.
It makes no sense though, why did you even show up then?
 
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bikinitop

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It makes no sense though, why did you even show up then?
It makes no sense. None of it makes sense to me. None of it.

I questioned not showing up anymore after the reprimand but I missed a class once for a doctor’s appointment and did the self-study at home. My score from the material in that lecture was much lower than my average score from all the other lecture material. Sure, it was just sacrificing a few points overall but it would be tons of points if it were multiple lectures missed. It may have been a coincidence but I didnt/don’t want to risk it.
 
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Lawpy

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The school is being dumb which doesn't surprise me. But sadly they are the ones with full power to do anything and everything they want, which means OP, you need to do what they say
 
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Osteosaur

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Rather than be late you should've not shown up tbh, know what was in store

And "asking questions to learn" at medical school lectures just seems silly. You gotta brute force the high yield stuff. Gonna line up to ask the professor about pharyngeal arches during the bathroom break? No way. The whole undergrad style of being super peppy to get an LOR isn't necessary.
 
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Captain_Falcon

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How is it disruptive to show up to an optional lecture after it starts? Are you walking in playing the flute and then proceed to open up quarter pounder meal with french fries and a milkshake as you slurp your way into a lethargic state (intentionally of course because without experiencing diabetes like your patients how are you ever going to relate and know how to treat them)
 
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Neopolymath

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Asks questions during lectures.

I've learned all I need to know about this person. Jk jk (sort of?)
 
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A) your school’s policy is dumb and draconian
B) you are dumb for not realizing that in the event of running late, not showing up was a safer option than tardiness (I read about you wanting to learn from lecture but risk of expulsion seems to outweigh that)

I do feel bad for you because the punishment doesn’t fit the crime, but… there’s a reason only 1-2 people in your class have been late. The other 100+ recognized the risk and adjusted their commute accordingly.

edited for typos
 
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DrOngoGablogian

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This is dumb. I’ve regularly seen instructors late, TAs late, attendings late, residents late, to all manner of things not just stupid lectures. Reality is stuff happens. If you leave for your 25 minute commute, but there’s a huge wreck and you’re stuck in 55 minutes of traffic, then what? Did you luckily happen to leave a whole hour early? Yea, right. Better advice is if you’re running late and it’s going to affect other people, you make arrangements to mitigate that effect (call, don’t wait for me, I’ll catch up, etc). The attitude that thou shalt never be late never ever or else is just silly and only really exists in forums. Life happens.
 
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StressedBiClown

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I don't personally understand the need to be present at lectures because I'm a pajama-watcher myself, but I have some classmates who feel more focused when they're physically in class. More to power to anyone who knows what works best for them.
I went to a uni for grad school that was always a nightmare to drive to and find parking and yada yada yada, so I made a new routine. The two cons to "leaving on-time" were always 1) sometimes I was late because traffic wouldn't cooperate or I couldn't find parking and 2) I was stuck in that rush-hour traffic wasting valuable study time.
What I ended up doing may not work for you, but it's something to think about going forward and may be something you could tell the admins at your meeting since they're going to want some sort of plan from you. (But definitely bring up the policy since you shouldn't be having this meeting at this point anyway.) Getting up really early sucks, but you do eventually get used to it. I would leave very early, beat all of the traffic, get a great parking spot (always appreciated this at the end of the day, too), and go to a study room until just before lecture started. That way, I didn't get distracted chatting with my classmates and I got loads more done than sitting in traffic or socializing. It ended up being a beautiful thing because the morning drive was peaceful and gave me time to think about what I wanted to do today instead of being stressed about the traffic and time.
Maybe this is feasible for you, maybe not, but I just wanted to give something that you might be able to use going forward.
 
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dnyal

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I see there are too camps here: the ones that (IMO) are blowing things out of proportions and accusing OP of all being their fault, and the ones who think that this is madness, with whom I concur. What sort of anal faculty goes to the lengths of keeping track of the exact time every student arrives and, if one is a single minute late, punish you for it?! It is madness! I have yet to see a doctor arriving or seeing me on time.

It seems that this school is more concerned with the clock than with actual education. Maybe they're compensating for something else? Idk. I believe it is ridiculous that you be expelled because you arrived "late" 4 times in your first months. And I sincerely do not understand the comments here accusing the OP of it all being their fault and that tardiness reflects bad on you. I mean, it does, but 4 min. late? Come on! That doesn't even qualify as tardiness to me, a slight delay at most.

OP, given that expulsion from med school would mean the end of your career by all means, I say fight it with class. Try not to sound or come across as petty. Own that you were "late," do not finger-point what others have done or call out favoritism, show them the steps that you have taken to avoid this behavior, but also point out to them their own policies.
 
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Calizboosted76

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or both. I vote both.
I agree.

I have always lived by the "If you're on time you are late. If you are early, you are on time" motto.

It really sucks that you have to deal with the added stress OP but my advice would echo others above. Getting there really early will prevent all of this and while it will suck at first, it will give you extra time to study in the mornings.

Good luck and I hope it all works out for you.
 
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FutureDoctor5000

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This is dumb. I’ve regularly seen instructors late, TAs late, attendings late, residents late, to all manner of things not just stupid lectures. Reality is stuff happens. If you leave for your 25 minute commute, but there’s a huge wreck and you’re stuck in 55 minutes of traffic, then what? Did you luckily happen to leave a whole hour early? Yea, right. Better advice is if you’re running late and it’s going to affect other people, you make arrangements to mitigate that effect (call, don’t wait for me, I’ll catch up, etc). The attitude that thou shalt never be late never ever or else is just silly and only really exists in forums. Life happens.
What is even more perplexing is that lecture isn’t even required to attend, I mean how do they happen to single out OP for being 2 minutes late to lecture with possibly hundreds of people. Most of the faculty at my med school wouldn’t even care or pay attention to something like this much alone report me for it lol. Many of the faculty wouldn’t even know who to report? It’s not like they know the entire class by thier first name lol. What are they gonna ask people in class, who was the person who walked in a whole whopping 2 minutes late to lecture, I need thier full name and ID number so I can report them to student affairs? Yea I highly doubt that…
However on a personal note, OP shouldn’t make a habit of being late and once they figured out this unworldly and unbelievable policy of the school for an non mandatory lecture they should have stopped showing up if they were going to be late, like just watch the recorded lecture later at home?
 
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Osminog

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You arrived three whole minutes late to an optional lecture? Unbelievable. Your school’s administrators showed a lot of restraint when they only threatened you with expulsion. I’m surprised they didn’t report you directly to the police. Your behavior is a direct threat to your future patients and to humanity as a whole. You must repent for these atrocities, or else you’ll be a terrible doctor.

From now on, check the time on your watch/phone before entering the lecture hall, and go back home when you’re running late by even a minute. Also, remind your authoritarian leaders what their manual says about tardiness, so they can get off your back.
 
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Goro

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Am I the one lashing out in this situation? I’m confused since I don’t think I was mean to anyone.
To clarify, it was your snarky comment about being in a fraternity.
I don't personally understand the need to be present at lectures because I'm a pajama-watcher myself, but I have some classmates who feel more focused when they're physically in class. More to power to anyone who knows what works best for them.
As a teaching moment, we treat our students as adult learners and as such, never require lecture attendance. By spring of second year, I might have 10 students in class. I asked some why did they show up as 90% of their Class didn't. The uniform answer was that coming to class was their first pass at the material.
In addition, some people are auditory learners...they have hear the material, live.
What sort of anal faculty goes to the lengths of keeping track of the exact time every student arrives and, if one is a single minute late, punish you for it?! It is madness!
I'm still trying to wrap my head around this one! Someone is actually keeping track to the minute of student's entrance times! I'm wondering if this school is one that's on my Bad Boy list.
 
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Mad Jack

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xfan beat to the punch, but OP, the two most important points have already been made.

1) Do not roll over to these draconian and blatantly stupid rules. You did NOT violate the student handbook in 3 of the 4 incidents. You do need to point this out if threats of expulsion are made. You also need to be remorseful and professional, and give them a remediation plan as to how you will not arrive late anymore.

2) You're an adult now, and if you're expected to be at a place at 8, you show up by 8. I remember hearing of rotating students who arrived late for surgery and they weren't allowed into the OR upon arrival.
They would just send late students home on some rotations where I was a 3rd year. Could really eat into your days off and make you fail a rotation
 
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chillingpanda

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The school is being dumb which doesn't surprise me. But sadly they are the ones with full power to do anything and everything they want, which means OP, you need to do what they say
This. Welcome to the world of "professionalism". your schools gonna be using that against you for the next 4 years. Just take the L and realize when the school tells you to jump you ask how high. It sucks that you got a target on you so early, but what can you do
 
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Danny1721

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Hi everyone,

I’m 3 months into med school and have had a few issues with arriving early, usually due to unpredictability in traffic and the rare personal issue and now I’m being threatened with expulsion due to lateness even though I haven’t been late, based on their policy.

Class begins at 8:00 AM. I was “late” 4 times, arriving at 8:04, 8:01, 8:09 and 8:03, in that order. I was reprimanded the 3rd time and was informed that I may be expelled if I had “repeated tardiness.” The 8:03 arrival prompted them to schedule a hearing regarding my case, scheduled for next Monday.

Contradiction: their Medical Student Handbook states, “Arriving in excess of 8 minutes after the scheduled start time of classes constitutes tardiness.” My notification of the hearing says that I am being referred to X Board for “repeated tardiness, as outlined in the Medical Student Handbook.” However, based on the handbook, Ive only been tardy once.

Since it’s unfortunately past the point of my just arriving at 6 AM and waiting for doors to open, the fact stands that they are disregarding their own policies.

What are my best options now? Do I bring up the deviation from the school handbook and politely fight it by replying to their email mandating a board hearing, apologizing but clarifying that based on the referenced handbook I was not tardy and shouldn’t be punished for a handbook violation if I did not actually violate the handbook? or should/could i Do more?

Should I just tuck my tail and take the punishment? Should I bring someone with me to the hearing?

Regardless of my fighting it, this hearing will be a blemish on my MSPE whether I’m found to have broken 0 policies or 3. Worst case scenario, they expel me and I have to choose a new path.

I appreciate any advice!!

TL;DR — being threatened with expulsion for being “late” several times but according to the handbook”/ definition, Ive only been late once. Should I push back? Or do I just continue to be kind/apologetic and beg for forgiveness? And in either case, what’s the best method to do it? Please help!

Aside: I shouldn’t worry about others, but I must mention the male who is late for every class (12+ minutes 2-3 times weekly). He is an Air Force pilot, so it’s reasonable to say there are no big medical issues and that the only thing keeping him exempt from expulsion is his friendship with the faculty member who has been tracking my attendance.

Also, this isn’t the first time they’ve disregarded their own policies.
Allow me to start off by saying, im
Not a med student, I’m not even in the field. Somehow I came upon this thread and it caught my eye. It always amazes me how there is no shortage of self-important, holier than thou commenters on this site. The issue is NOT “leave earlier” “do you need mommy to drive you?” You’ve acknowledged you need to make a change, the issue here is your programs blatant obsession with finding someone to use as an example and to assert power over the cohort. I wouldn’t have thought this way 2 years ago-however, after my personal experience in my masters (which I did have to retain a lawyer) I feel differently. The first HUGE red flag for me is that you explain the student handbook EXPLICITLY states 8mimutes=late. The student handbook (if you had to sign an acknowledgment and agreement of it as I did) IS A BINDING CONTRACT. DO NOT let them weasel out of their own rules. If you can PROVE your times, for example if they provide you how late you were I would 100% suggest you say “I’m sorry, I’m confused. The instances you have provided does not equal to lateness according to the student handbook book”. In my issue-I had the director and one professor coming down on me wrongly and giving me a hard time and trying to use the handbook to do so. You’ll be surprised how quick administrators and academics back off when you POLITELY but FIRMLY push back. After going to the dean of the department, quoting the handbook, and cc’ing higher ups on ALL emails I had with the two individuals they backed off.
in summary: 1. Be EARLY. Give them NO ammo. 2. Do NOT back down and admit wrongdoing because that will likely be used against you.
3. Be a self advocate and stand by the student handbook and let them know you expect them to do the same.
 
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Danny1721

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This. Welcome to the world of "professionalism". your schools gonna be using that against you for the next 4 years. Just take the L and realize when the school tells you to jump you ask how high. It sucks that you got a target on you so early, but what can you do
That’s exactly how you do NOT handle a situation and leave yourself feeling ashamed and planting seeds of resentment
 
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