Vanderbilt Leave Policy
and the ABIM Policies
on leaves of absence effects on training

The amount of time a resident can be away from residency duties and still meet Board requirements vary among the specialties. It is the resident's responsibility to be aware of his/her specialty requirement. Time under any of the following may not be counted toward Board eligibility.

Holiday- Vacation- Sick Time Policies

1. Holidays
All time off, including holidays, is scheduled at the discretion of the Program Director. Official Vanderbilt holidays are not automatically observed as time off for house staff.

2. Vacation
Vacation is scheduled and approved by the Program Director. A resident in his/her first year of training may take three weeks of paid vacation. A resident in his/her second year of training or above may take four weeks of paid vacation leave. Vacation time must be used in the appointment year in which it is accrued. Any unused time does not carry over and is not paid out at the appointment year-end.

3. Sick Time
Time off due to illness must be reported to the Program Director. Residents accrue paid sick time at the rate of one day per month except when he/she is on unpaid leave. Residents on unpaid leave do not accrue sick time. Residents are not paid for unused sick time, but sick time does carry over to the next appointment year if applicable. Sick time can only be used for time off due to the resident's illness or the illness of the resident's spouse, parent or child. Sick time must be utilized prior to going into unpaid status, if available. If the resident wants to continue receiving full salary for time off due to an injury or occupational disease which is compensable under the Tennessee Workers' Compensation Act, workers compensation benefits may be supplemented by available sick or vacation time up to the resident's full weekly salary.

Vanderbilt Leave Policy

Vanderbilt recognizes that a resident may need to be away from work due to medical or certain family reasons. Leaves of absence are defined as approved time away from residency duties, other than regularly scheduled days off as reflected in a rotation schedule. All leaves will be scheduled with prior approval by the Program Director or Chief of Service, with the exception of emergencies or unexpected illnesses. In unexpected/emergency situations, the resident should contact the Program Director or Chief of Service at the earliest possible time.

The amount of time a resident can be away from residency duties and still meet Board requirements varies among the specialties. It is the resident's responsibility to be aware of his/her specialty requirement. The Board requirements for each specialty are available upon request from the Program Director. If leave time is taken beyond what is allowable for the specialty board and the resident is required to extend his/her period of activity in the training program, the resident should request permission to extend and should establish a schedule for doing so in consultation with the Program Director.

Leave time under any of these categories will not be counted toward Board eligibility. When the need/request for leave is foreseeable, the request should be submitted at least thirty (30) days prior to the leave. When the need for the leave is unforeseeable, the request should be submitted as soon as practical.
 

1. Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
As required by the FMLA, Vanderbilt allows eligible residents to take up to twelve weeks paid or unpaid leave in a rolling twelve month period for certain family or medical reasons. These reasons include childbirth and care for the resident's child after birth or placement for adoption or foster care; care for the resident's spouse, son or daughter, or parent who has a serious health condition; or a serious health condition that makes the resident unable to perform his/her job. Residents are eligible for FMLA leave (if they meet the defined family or medical reasons) if they have:
- been employed by VUMC for at least 12 months and
- been employed for at least 1250 hours of service during the 12-month period immediately preceding the commencement of the leave.

Paid leave time (sick and vacation time), if available, is required to be substituted prior to going into unpaid status. If a resident is on FMLA leave, his/her health insurance continues.
More information on FMLA leave can be obtained through the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

2. Maternity Leave/Adoption
Maternity leave is available to eligible residents for the birth or adoption of a child under the FMLA and the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act (TMLA). If certain conditions are met, a resident may be eligible for maternity (or other) leave related to adoption, pregnancy, childbirth, and/or nursing an infant for a period of up to four months. Time off under the TMLA and the FMLA runs concurrently. If paid sick or vacation time is available, it must be used prior to going into unpaid status. Contact the Office of GME for more information about qualifying conditions and the provisions for maternity leave under these laws. For care of a newly adopted child, available vacation and then unpaid leave is used.

3. Medical Leave
Medical leave which is not FMLA eligible is available at the discretion of the Program Director in 30-day increments up to a maximum of 52 weeks. Medical documentation is required if the resident is away from work for more than 5 calendar days. Residents will be required to exhaust other forms of leave for which they may qualify prior to being eligible for medical leave. If paid sick or vacation time is available, it must be used prior to going into unpaid status.

4. Education Leave
Education leave may be granted at the discretion of the Program Director.

5. Military Leave/Jury Duty
Residents will be granted military leave or leave for jury duty as required by applicable law.
Please contact the Office of GME for specific questions about such leave.

6. Personal Leave
Personal leave may be provided at the discretion of the Program Director in 30-day intervals according to the policies established by the individual residency programs. Residents will be required to exhaust other forms of leave for which they may qualify prior to being eligible for personal leave.

7. Bereavement Leave
If there is a death in your family, you may take up to 3 working days off as leave with pay. For this purpose, "family" is defined as spouse, child, mother, father, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sister, brother, grandparent or grandchild. Except in very unusual circumstances, Bereavement leave must be utilized within 14 days of the date of death.
 

The Medicine statements on leaves and the effect on training requirements:

ABIM (American Board of Internal Medicine) Policy on leaves of absence or vacation: Trainees may take up to one month per year of training for vacation, parental or family leave, or illness (including pregnancy-related disabilities). Training must be extended to make up any absences exceeding one month per year of training. Vacation leave is essential and cannot be forfeited to make up for a late start to training.