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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
MD Education

Weather and Public Safety Emergencies Policy and Procedure

All Feinberg students must sign up for the Northwestern Emergency Notification System by listing their contact phone number in the Emergency Notification field of CAESAR.  This will result in automatic electronic notification of emergencies and University closures.  It is the responsibility of Feinberg medical students to inform themselves of safety procedures by visiting the Northwestern University’s Emergency Management website:   

In the event of a severe weather or public safety emergency, the university and medical school may be closed, and students are excused from all course and clerkship activities.  In the case of such emergencies, medical students participating in patient care activities are considered non-essential workers. 

In the case of a public health concern where the university and medical center remain open, Feinberg will contact students frequently with precautions and updates and will communicate any changes recommended by clinical affiliates.  The safety of students will be paramount, and all attempts will be made to limit any exposures as students are considered non-essential workers. Alternative arrangements for academic credit may be provided for students who are unable to complete the traditional curriculum in certain settings.  

In the case of emergency or urgency outside of Chicago (international and away rotations), students may return home to Chicago without financial or academic penalty.

If the medical school is open but a student believes traveling to campus or a clinical site is unsafe, they should contact the course/clerkship director and coordinator to inform them if they will be late or unable to report.  Students may be expected to make up any missed course or clerkship time.  Students may also contact the Associate Dean for Student Affairs at any time for advice. 

Students who need immediate police, fire or medical response should call 911 from their phone, or use an Emergency Police “blue light” telephone, located throughout the Chicago campus.  

Related LCME Standard
5.7 Security, Student Safety, and Disaster Preparedness 


Last Updated: 3/03/2020