Health Leaves and Policies

The Director of Health Services and/or a Counseling Services Counselor may recommend, whenever it is deemed clinically appropriate, and after individualized analysis, that the Office of the Dean of the College or designee place a student on a Leave of Absence for Health Reasons.  A student may also request a recommendation for a Leave of Absence for Health Reasons through the Director of Health Services and/or a Counseling Services Counselor.  If a student is unwilling to follow a recommendation for a Leave of Absence for Health Reasons, a Required Leave of Absence for Health Reasons may be recommended to the Office of the Dean of the College.

A Leave of Absence for Health Reasons is typically the result of, but is not limited to, the following situations:

a) A medical and/or mental health condition requiring more intensive treatment than can be provided on campus.

b) A medical and/or mental health condition that is significantly interfering with the student’s ability to function academically.

When a student is placed on leave, he/she is typically withdrawn from courses for that semester while obtaining appropriate care from a licensed health care provider.  Reinstatement to the College is dependent on review of medical records, evaluation and recommendation by the Director of Health Services and/or a Counseling Services Counselor and approval by the Readmission Committee. (See the College Catalog for full leave of absence policies)

Appel Health Services does NOT issue medical excuses for missed classes due to illness.  If it is the recommendation of a health care provider that a student should not attend class, should be sent home, or should be hospitalized, the student’s College House Dean will be notified to place the student on a short-term medical leave and professors will be notified by email from that office.

It is mandatory that all students have medical insurance coverage either through a parent’s policy or private insurance or by purchasing the plan available through the College. Students who do not return the waiver indicating their insurance coverage will be billed for the Accident and Sickness Insurance Plan designed specifically for the students of Franklin & Marshall. Students who intend to participate in intercollegiate, club, or intramural sports, as well as students insured through managed care programs, are strongly urged to consider this plan as a supplement to their coverage.

All incoming first-year and transfer students are required to submit a medical history form to be completed by their family physician.  Proof of required immunizations along with a tuberculosis risk assessment are required sections of the incoming physical form.

Class Absence Notification Policy

Appel Health Services (AHS) recognizes that students are responsible for adhering to professors’ attendance policies and that only faculty members can excuse students from class.  AHS DOES NOT issue class absence notes.  Students are encouraged to communicate with their professors directly with regards to missed classes, preferably prior to the missed class. 

We recognize that not all acute illnesses warrant visits to the Health Center.  We also recognize that individuals' tolerance for acute illness is variable.    AHS can only verify visits to the Health Center.  We cannot verify an illness that has already resolved by the time of the visit.

With the student’s signed consent, AHS will verify that the student was seen and evaluated at the health center.  A student's Professor will need to contact AHS, either by phone or email ( should they need to verify an appointment.  Visits to the Health Center for illness DO NOT equate to a class excuse.  Excuse for a missed class, presentation, or exam, is at the discretion of individual professors.  Any student who is ill at home and is not seen by AHS will need documentation from their primary care provider in order to verify a medical illness for any missed activity. 

Certain health situations (detailed below) may result in professors receiving a communication directly from the Dean’s Office or AHS.

Short Term Medical Leave

Students who are advised by a medical professional to NOT attend class, are sent home due to a health related condition, or are hospitalized, are issued a short-term health leave.  Professors receive email communication, including specific dates of the recommended absence, from the Dean’s office.  Short-term health leaves are only recommended in the case of severe illness in which it is a risk to the particular student or classmates for that student to attend class.  Short-term health leaves DO NOT apply to individual class absences.  Students who choose to go home to see their personal physician for an acute problem can only receive a short-term medical leave AFTER AHS has received documentation from the home physician. 

Additional Policy

If a student is being treated and followed for a health related condition that could impact class attendance or performance, (e.g. concussion, acute mononucleosis) an email will be sent directly to the appropriate professors provided the student gives consent to do so.

Students missing an exam or presentation while being seen at AHS due to an illness may give consent at the time of the visit for the professor to be informed of the situation.  This notification to the professor DOES NOT automatically result in an excused absence from the exam or presentation.

AHS does not believe students should miss class for medical appointments on or off campus.  If this cannot be avoided and the professor requires verification of the appointment the student can give consent for the professor to be informed.  AHS requires documentation from an off-campus provider to verify appointments.

An AHS professional staff member can only speak with a professor about a student’s medical situation if the student signs a formal consent to do so per required privacy laws.