Leave Policy

The Academic Year will start in late June when the new 2nd year residents are promoted from their internship onto the Urology service.  At this time, all residents will rotate to their next year assignment and the Chief Residents will be released from clinical duties.

Each resident is allowed 3 weeks of vacation, which the Division has defined as 15 (Monday through Friday) workdays, over the course of an academic year.  Weekends are not included to allow for more flexibility in arranging your vacation time.  Although the Division prefers that these 15 days be taken as three 5-day "weeks", there are times when it is not necessary or desirable to take a full week off.  In these instances, 2 or 3 days may be taken in combination with your scheduled weekend off, without losing your other days of vacation.  For example, a resident's vacation for the year may consist of:

 One 5 day week Monday through Friday in September
 One 5 day week Monday through Friday in March
 One 3 day block Wednesday through Friday in April
 One 2 day block Monday and Tuesday in May

This would equal 15 days vacation for the academic year and adhere to the guidelines.

All trainees in GME programs shall receive one week (5 working days) of personal/professional development (PPD) time annually. PPD must be arranged with the approval of the program director and may be unavailable on certain rotations. PPD is non-accruing. PPD may be used in the same way as vacation but is intended to create opportunity for trainees to attend medical, mental health, and dental care appointments in fulfillment of ACGME Common Program Requirement VI.C.1d).(1) and/or conferences, job interviews or other professional development activities. PPD will be reported to the GME Office in the same manner as vacation time.

Limitations

  1. No resident should take vacation during the 2nd half of June or during the month of July, unless there are extenuating circumstances and permission is granted by the Program Director.  These transition times at the end and beginning of the academic year make vacation disruptive to the service and may be detrimental to patient care.  This can be a popular time for family reunions, weddings, and other events and time off will be allowed for these if possible, but the Division may limit or deny vacation during this time if patient care will suffer from such absences.
  2. Only one resident may be gone from a service at one time. 

A calendar for scheduling vacations will be made available by the Chief Residents in May for the 6-month block from July to December, and in November for the block from January to June. Once the calendar is available, residents will sign-up for their time based on seniority.  Chiefs will have the first 2 days.  Fourth year residents will have the next 2 days, etc.  Once this "sign-up" opportunity has passed, the vacation calendar is considered "open" and anyone may claim a vacation time.  The vacation calendar will be kept in the Chief Resident's office at the University Hospital. Each resident will have an additional 5 days off around the Christmas/New Year's Eve holidays.  Call scheduling during this time will be determined by the two Chief Residents with final approval from the Program Director.

Educational

Job interviews for a Fellowship or for private practice in general will not count towards vacation, unless deemed excessive by the Division Chief. Fellowship interviews will generally be exempt from vacation time.  Private practice interviews are somewhat more flexible and should be requested as a Friday-Saturday interview if possible.  If you are planning to interview during a weekend that would normally fall on your on-call time, this weekend must be made up to balance the overall call-schedule.  Interviews taken during the week may count towards your vacation time if it severely disrupts patient care or is for an excessive period of time.  Staying longer than your expected time away and placing excessive unscheduled burdens on your fellow residents is not acceptable.

Attendance at national and regional meetings will be permitted and encouraged as outlined above in the policy on "Urology Meetings."

Sick Leave/Family Leave/Maternity Leave/Paternity Leave

Leave taken for medical reasons falls under The Family Medical Leave Act of 1993.  The Family and Medical Leave Policy for housestaff at the University of Utah meets the requirements of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993, allowing up to 12 weeks of leave per year for eligible employees.  To be eligible for FMLA leave, a houseofficer must have been employed for at least 12 months and must be requesting leave for a serious medical condition (birth or adoption of a child; serious medical condition of a spouse, parent, or child; serious medical condition of the employee).

Any leave for medical reasons (stated above) in excess of one (1) week should be handled under the Family Medical Leave Act.  Housestaff must inform their program directors and the GME Office immediately about any needed medical leave to allow time to arrange clinical coverage.  Upon learning that a houseofficer is requesting FMLA leave, the program director or program coordinator must contact the GME Office with the information, and must require that the houseofficer contact a Benefits Office representative to apply for FMLA.  Employees are required to provide the Benefits Office with at least 30 days notice before FMLA is to begin, or within two (2) business days in the case of an unforeseen emergency.  The Benefits Office will approve or disapprove the FMLA leave.

Each of the U.S. Medical Specialty Boards has minimum time requirements in residency training for board eligibility.  If residents take leave in excess of board eligibility requirements, they must make up time to be eligible for their board examinations.  For this reason, it is recommended that any unused vacation days in the year the FMLA leave is taken be used in conjunction with the FMLA leave.  Length of leave granted and/or vacation days used are to be negotiated between the houseofficer, the program director, and the GME Office.

In general, leave taken under the Family Medical Leave Act is paid, but any necessary make-up time is unpaid.  For example, surgery residents receive five full years of pay for a surgery training program.  Leave could include a six week absence in the second year for maternity leave, in addition to three weeks of vacation for a total of nine weeks of leave time during that one year.  Because a maximum of four weeks per year is allowed by the American Board of Surgery, five weeks must be made up.  The houseofficer will be paid for the FMLA leave time, but the five weeks of make-up time will be unpaid.

Sick leave, family leave, maternity leave and paternity leave is all negotiable through the Division.  Total number of days will be dependent upon the American Board of Urology's requirement that time away from clinical residency cannot exceed 15% of the clinical residency training period.

When unexpected illness and family emergencies arise, the Division will try to be accommodating as much as possible.  Two or three days may be given in extension to your vacation time to deal with these situations, however, extensive time away will need to be counted towards your vacation.

American Board of Urology Requirements

The American Board of Urology requires that time away from clinical residency cannot exceed 15% of the clinical residency training period.  This includes vacation, sick leave, maternity leave, parental leave, etc.

Program Director

Sara Lenherr, MD

Contact Us

For more information, contact:

Elizabeth Lignell
Residency Program Manager
Phone: 801-213-2718
Email: Elizabeth.Lignell@hsc.utah.edu