Leave Policies

Leave Policies

PM&R Residency Program Manual
PM&R Resident Leave Policies

PM&R
Resident Leave Request Form

The purpose of the PM&R Residency Program leave policy is to ensure that appropriate PM&R resident leave in a given academic year does not exceed six weeks, regardless of the type of leave taken, unless the program training period is to be adjusted accordingly. It is the responsibility of the resident to ensure that the six weeks of leave time is not exceeded. Absence in excess of six weeks in any given year will delay completion of residency training and must be discussed with the PM&R Residency Program Director in advance.

ABPMR Rule: “A resident should not be absent from residency training for more than six weeks (30 working days) yearly. Regardless of institutional policies regarding absences, any leave time beyond six weeks would need to be made up via an extension of the training period by arrangement between the resident and Program Director. ‘Leave time’ is defined as sick leave, vacation, maternity or paternity leave, leave for locum tenens, or any training experience that is not ACGME-accredited. A candidate may not accumulate leave time or vacation time to reduce the overall duration of training.”
ABPMR Program Director’s Guide: Resident Tracking, Evaluation & Certification, July 2004, p.3

This policy also delineates types of leave that can be taken, and those leave maximums.
All types of leave come out of the same six-week pool of maximum leave time allowed per year. Types of leave allowed are: vacation leave, sick leave, educational leave (includes conferences), interview leave, family medical leave, maternity leave, and long term absence.

Leave Maximums per Academic Year & Notes on Submission Times

Vacation Leave: 15 days - Submit initially to Chief Resident prior to completion of the year’s master call schedule, submit changes to Chief Resident prior to vacation dates.  Coverage must be arranged. Cannot take more than one week of leave during the same rotation without prior approval. Be aware of mandatory sporting event coverage when scheduling vacations.

Sick Leave: 14 days - If unscheduled, report it to the Chief Resident by 7:00 am of that day. The Chief Resident will arrange coverage.

Educational Leave: 5 days – Includes attendance at approved conferences. Both a regular leave request and a special conference leave request including an estimated travel budget must be filled out and submitted prior to the conference. (Save all allowable expense receipts for later reimbursement.)

Interview Leave (PGY4 only): Can’t exceed the total leave minus any other used leave. Leave request form must be filled out prior to leaving. If expected to see patients during the interview, it must be set up as an away elective due to liability issues.

Family Medical Leave: Needs to be arranged in advance on a case-by-case basis (may necessitate program extension).

Maternity Leave: Can’t exceed the total leave minus any other used leave. (Can save up and combine sick leave and vacation leave.) Must have Program Director's approval to extend leave and/or makeup time after current projected date of graduation. (Must notify Program Director ASAP of any intention to extend leave or any change of plans while on maternity leave.)

Long Term Absence: To be arranged in advance (may necessitate program extension). Coverage must be arranged.

Paternity Leave: One or two weeks may be arranged in advance with the Program Director. 

Electives: No more than three months total of electives are allowed in PGY 4. No more than one month of this time can be in a non-ACGME accredited program and any time spent in such a program would count toward the 30 days of total yearly leave allowed.

  • All appropriate leave paperwork must be submitted prior to leave being taken.
  • Failure to comply with guidelines may result in time taken as unpaid leave, or taken out of vacation leave.
  • Leave allowances do not carry over from year to year. Unused leave is not rolled over to the next year.

PM&R Resident Vacation Leave
To ensure that time designated as vacation leave is used appropriately as defined by state policies and the departmental guidelines as follows:

  • Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation residents are granted fifteen (15) working days of vacation leave time per academic year.
  • All vacation leave requests are due prior to the Chief Resident’s completion of the master schedule.
  • Vacation leave is to be scheduled one week at a time, because only one week of leave is allowed per rotation (unless prior approval has been obtained).
  • Any alteration to the vacation leaves already on the Master Schedule must be submitted by PM&R residents to the Residency Program Coordinator on the Department Leave Request form prior to the dates requested. 
  • The resident requesting vacation leave will be responsible for arranging all coverage during the absence. 
  • Vacation leave requests must be completed in their entirety prior to submission.
  • Prior approval by the service Attending must be obtained.
  • The resident will then obtain the approval of the Chief Resident, who will assess whether adequate coverage has been arranged.
  • Completed vacation leave forms are then submitted to the Residency Coordinator who will verify that the resident has the time requested available for use.
  • Vacation leave requests are not considered approved until the vacation leave request form has been completed in its entirety and submitted with appropriate signatures.  Once it has been approved and signed by the Attending, Chief Resident, and Residency Program Coordinator, a copy will be placed in the resident’s mailbox.  Until a copy of the finalized form has been placed in the resident’s mailbox, leave may not be taken.  The original form will be kept in the resident’s file.
  • Vacations should be avoided during the last week of June or the first week of July.  Vacations that conflict with mandatory sports coverage also should not be planned. No vacation will be allowed during the inpatient month of Pediatrics.
  • Unused vacation leave does not roll over to the next year.

PM&R Resident Sick Leave
To ensure that time designated as sick leave is used appropriately as defined by state policies and the departmental guidelines as follows:

  • Sick leave is allotted in the amount of fourteen (14) days per academic year.
  • Unscheduled absences due to illness must be reported to the chief resident no later than 7:00am on the date of the absence.  The chief resident is responsible for coverage of any areas affected by the absence and for notifying the Residency Program Coordinator.
  • When absence due to sudden illness occurs, the affected resident will contact the chief resident no later than 7:00 a.m.  The chief resident will be responsible for notifying the residency coordinator and arranging coverage of any area affected by the resident’s absence.  When coverage cannot be arranged, the chief resident will be responsible for covering for the absent resident.  The chief resident is also responsible for notifying the hospital operator of a change in coverage, if necessary.
  • The Residency Coordinator is responsible for notifying the Program Director.
  • The Program Director or his/her designee and the chief resident are responsible for (re)arranging coverage to meet the needs of the department in the event understaffing or other resident absences contribute to the issue of coverage.
  • Failure to comply with the guidelines may result in time taken as unpaid leave.
  • Unused sick leave is not carried over from year to year.

Emergency/Back-Up Call Policy for Off-Service PM&R Residents
PM&R resident training may occur in departments other than the resident's home department.  Contingency plans when residents are absent for illness, family emergency, or other personal or professional problems will be dealt with in the following manner:

  • For short term absences(less than or equal to 7 days) the home department of the resident will be responsible for filling the spot
  • Residents who are pregnant will not be scheduled for rotations outside their department at the time of delivery unless their potential absence will not be disruptive or missed by the host department. If a pregnancy occurs after the block schedule for the year has been established, and the resident's absence would be disruptive to the activity of the host department, the Chief Resident from that resident's department is responsible for assigning a different resident to the rotation.
  • For longer absences (greater than 1 week) the home department and the host department will meet (either the Chiefs or the Program Directors) with the idea of covering the absence equally from both departments.
  • If a resident is absent but is not going to be missed, no substitution is necessary.
  • If a resident is asked to leave a service by the host department because of substandard performance, it is up to the host department to find a substitute.

If there is a department that does not want to be guided by these rules, the hosting department may choose to no longer have Residents from that department rotate on their service or the host department may adjust the role of residents from the non-participating department in such a way that those residents will not be essential to the activities in the host department (ex. always pair those residents on an in-patient service, allow those residents to only do consultative service where other residents are involved, etc).
Approved by UVa GME Committee March 2005

PM&R Resident Educational Leave
To ensure that time designated as educational leave is used appropriately as defined by state policies and departmental guidelines as follows:

  • A maximum of five (5) working days at an approved conference is allowed.
  • Completion of the following forms is required: the ”Leave Request,” and the “Estimated Travel Budget.”
  • Leave approval must be obtained prior to leaving for the activity.
  • Unused educational leave does not carry over from year to year.

PM&R PGY4 Resident Interview Leave

  • Leave for PGY4 residents to attend interviews must be pre-approved by the Program Director.
  • The total number of interview days of leave cannot exceed the total leave minus any other used leave. A Leave Request form must be filled out prior to leaving.
  • If expected to see patients during the interview, it must be set up as an away elective due to liability issues. (The paperwork for away electives is due two months in advance because it must go through the UVa GME Committee and your malpractice insurance carrier for approval first.)
  • All necessary paperwork for interview leave must be in place and approved prior to going on leave.

PM&R Resident Coverage – Long Term Absences
To ensure resident coverage during long-term absences, it is the chief resident’s responsibility to review existing resident assignments and determine the most appropriate alternate coverage schedule when a resident becomes unavailable for an extended period of time.  It is also the chief resident’s responsibility to review the reassignments with the program director or his or her designee for final approval.

PM&R Resident Leave Policy – Family Medical Leave
The purpose of this policy is to ensure compliance with the Federal and State Guidelines with the Family Medical Leave Act.  The Department adopts the State and Federal Guidelines of the Family Medical Leave Act.  You can visit their web page at the following address: www.hrs.virginia.edu/Policies/leave/FMLAlv.html

  • Absences in excess of six (6) weeks per academic year will delay completion of the residency training program and must be discussed with the Program Director in advance (when possible).
  • The Residency Coordinator will be notified of such excessive absences by the Program Director and will report such to the Medical Staff and Residency Office.

PM&R Resident Maternity Leave
According to the American Board of PM&R, residents cannot miss more than six weeks (30 working days) yearly, this includes maternity leave. Therefore, maternity leave must be made up of any remaining leave allowed within that thirty-day limit. If more leave than that is desired, this would have to be arranged in advance with the program director and would necessitate extending the program end date.

Vacation leave can be applied to maternity leave, as can sick leave. However, all leave taken in a given academic year cannot exceed the total leave time allotted of thirty days. So, maternity leave will be affected by how many leave days have already been used in a given year by the resident concerned.