Ryerson to enforce standard medical form

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By Caroline Alphonso

Ryerson students will soon have a standard form to show professors when they’ve been away instead of giving a chicken-scratched doctor’s notes.

Academic council decided at their October meeting that Ryerson should adopt a policy similar to the University of Toronto’s, where professors are shown detailed forms from a doctor outlining a student’s illness and what effect it has on the student’s work, instead of a simple handwritten note.

“Doctors’ notes don’t give a clear understanding of what wrong with the student for an academic standing,” said RyeSAC’s executive assistant Dennis Loney, who deals with appeals.

But like doctors’ notes, getting a doctor to fill out a medical form is not covered by OHIP and students may be charged.

“It’s up to the doctor,” said Jill Hefley, public affairs manager with the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario.  “They could possibly charge students for the forms.”

Ryerson’s forms, which will not be as detailed as U of T’s, will ask the doctor how the illness will effect the student’s studies.

Loney, who hopes to have the form available by next semester or September, said professors don’t’ want to know about what’s wrong with a student but how the illness will impair the student’s ability to do work.

The form may be included in Ryerson’s student handbook.

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