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Immunization, Infectious & Communicable Disease, and Needle Stick Injury Policies

In This Section:

Immunization Policy

The School of Medicine follows all recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (CDC ACIP). These are important in protecting students and patients from communicable diseases during their clinical rotations. In order to assure that all students are protected against preventable communicable illness, we encourage students to get these vaccinations done at home, prior to arrival, so their protection will be effective. These requirements must be met prior to matriculation.

  1. Requirements for medical students can be found on the University Health Service website:
  2. Complete the Vaccination Record Worksheet and upload it to OR upload copies of your official immunization record in English to

Complete the additional online forms via Privacy Statement, Medical History,

Students who have not been immunized because of religious beliefs or valid medical reasons must provide documentation certifying that fact prior to matriculation. In the event of an outbreak of such diseases, these individuals could be excluded from academic and clinical activities. 

NOTE: Tuberculosis screening is done after a student arrives on campus. Additionally, annual influenza immunization is completed each fall.

For more information on required immunizations for medical students and other FAQs, click HERE.

Infectious Diseases Policy

Physicians and medical students have a long and honored tradition of caring with compassion and courage for patients afflicted with infectious diseases.  That tradition is highly valued at CWRU, and CWRU students and faculty will continue to uphold it.  The School of Medicine provides education in the biological, clinical, and psychosocial aspects of infectious diseases, such as AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis, and influenza. Students are taught to use precautions that should avoid or minimize risk. The faculty and affiliated hospitals care for such patients in a competent, ethical, and humane manner.  In their educational program students participate in the care of infectious patients and must be aware of the risks stemming from contact with the blood or secretions of such patients. Students are expected to participate with appropriate safeguards in the care of every patient whose care and condition is within the students’ current realm of responsibility and competence even though the patient may be infectious.  Students are not expected to learn procedures known to present some inherent hazard on patients known to present some unusual risk.  Students should advise their supervisors when the combination of their level of expertise and the disease state of the patient constitute a greatly increased level of risk to themselves or their patients.

Students who themselves have a communicable disease have a responsibility to their patients, peers, staff, and faculty to take all steps to prevent the spread of disease.  These individuals must obtain the care of a physician who is qualified to treat the disease or infection and its complications.  These individuals must identify themselves as medical students to the physician and explain the extent of their responsibilities for patient care.  These individuals should also report their disease state to the Office of Student Affairs.  The School of Medicine holds this information in the strictest of confidence but may not allow the student to care for patients when such contact might place patients at risk.  It is the responsibility of the students to follow the advice of their physician and the School of Medicine and to follow all current guidelines for health care workers provided by the Centers for Disease Control.  Training in these guidelines is offered annually through the Office of Student Affairs.

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School of Medicine Current Communicable Disease Policy

Mission of the Communicable Disease Policy

Summary of Policy for Hepatitis B, HIV and Other Communicable Diseases

Policy and Procedures

Hepatitis B

HIV Policy


Review Panel Procedures

Confidentiality and Career Counseling

 Sanctions for Violation of the Policy

Policy Concerning Other Communicable Diseases


Students may request reconsideration of any decision or recommendations of the Review Panel by requesting in writing that the Review Panel by requesting in writing that the Review Panel reconsider the decision or recommendations. The request for reconsideration must be submitted to the Review Panel within five (5) working days of the Review Panel’s decision. If the student seeks reconsideration, the student is permitted to appear before the Review Panel to present information on the issue. The Review Panel may affirm its prior decision and/or recommendations or modify them. Before notifying the student of its decision on the reconsideration request, the Review Panel will forward its proposed decision to the Dean of the Medical School for approval and/or modifications. The Review Panel will provide to the student in writing the decision on the reconsideration request, including any modification in its decision and/or recommendations.

Any decision of the Review Panel or any other decision made pursuant to this Policy can be appealed to the Dean of the Medical School.  The appeal must be submitted in writing within ten (10) working days of the date of the decision being appealed.  The decision of the Dean is final.

Needle Stick Injuries and Occupational Exposures

Students who in the course of their clinical experiences or laboratory work experience a needle stick injury or occupational exposure to biohazards should contact the 24-hour needle stick hotline maintained by the University Health Service: (216) 368-2450.  The University Health Services website for medical students regarding post-exposure follow up on needle sticks is:

The student on a clerkship or clinical elective in one of the affiliated hospitals should, in addition, contact the designated individual, usually infection control personnel or an infectious disease staff member, for up-to-date medical advice at the time of the occurrence. The University Health Service can provide ongoing information and advice following the acute incident. The student’s Student Affairs dean should be informed of these occurrences, so that they can offer information, advice, and support for the student.  Reporting of injuries and occupational exposures is also critical to the development of effective policies and procedures.

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Published and maintained by the Office of Student Affairs and the Academic Societies
Revised 3/06/17