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Annual Leave Policy

Page history last edited by Dolores L. Garcia 4 days, 9 hours ago

Leave Policy


I. Vacation Request Procedure

1.     All UNM FM residents will be entitled to a minimum of 21 days of vacation, levels PGY1 through PGY3.  Outside of Annual Leave, Parental Leave and Catastrophic Leave no more than 5 weekdays and 2 weekend days can be taken from each required rotation this total includes, Educational, Professional, Wellness, Comp Days and planned Sick Leaves. More time than this off of required rotations may require time to be made-up. 

2.     2 of the 3 weeks must be taken in 1 week (consecutive 7 day) increments, not more or less.

3.     1 of the 3 weeks may be broken into 4/3 day increments, or 5/2 day increments (but no other manner).  If a resident chose to do this, it would in effect give them 4 more days than the previous rules, since they could choose weekdays as "days off" and pair them with a weekend they might otherwise have been scheduled for call. 

4.     In order to qualify to break the 3rd week into the 4/3 or 5/2 increments as per above, the resident must have vacation requests finalized by the following dates:

  •  PGY1: May 1 prior to starting intern year
  • PGY2/3: July 1 of the new academic year.  Calls for vacation requests will begin May 1 for current PGY1's and PGY2's.

5.     Since some vacation requests occasionally do not work (i.e. the rotation has given all the FTE's of vacation they are required to allow), we recommend submitting vacation requests 4-6 weeks prior to the final deadline, i.e. as soon as you can after you are first notified by the residency office that vacation requests are being collected.  That will give you the best chance at getting the specific days off you are hoping for.

6.     If a resident fails to meet these deadlines, they will need to take all of their required vacation in 1 week (consecutive 7 day) increments.  If residents do not submit vacation requests, the residency office will work with the resident as possible to help schedule the vacation time.  This may lead to choices that are more limited than if the resident is prompt with requests.


II. Specific Concerns by Year


The PGY1 schedule is significantly more challenging to arrange vacation given the higher amount of inpatient rotations which would face undue burden if residents were to take leave.  As such, the program will work closely with the intern to try to accommodate their requests as much as possible but due to undue burden, some requests may not be granted.

  • The residency office will try to arrange the master PGY1 schedule templates to accommodate vacation requests prior to the start of intern year. 
  •  1 of the PGY1 weeks of vacation must occur during the 6 week ER block.  The office will work with the intern to choose the preferred week during that block.
  • PGY1's rotate on many off-service rotations who still have the ability to deny vacation requests depending on their own safe coverage needs (see problematic rotations list).
  •  Some off-service rotations (such as pediatrics) require vacation be taken in 1 week/consecutive 7 day blocks.  An exception is the Christmas and New Year holiday rotations: residents will only be allowed to take 5 days of leave during that time, as is also the case for pediatrics residents.
  • During block 9-11 on pediatric ward, patient volume increases associated with RSV season.  Because of this, any vacation requests during this time will likely not be granted because it would place undue burden on the Pediatric inpatient service. 


PGY 2/3

  • PGY 2/3 has fewer restrictions, other than specific rotations that are problematic (see below list)


III. Problematic Rotations for Vacation

For many years, the resident CIR Union contract has stated that "No rotation should be off limits for vacation."  And the Houseofficers manual adds "Leave requests may be denied if it places undue burden on the service." 

The program tries to carefully accommodate resident needs.  For interns, your schedule is built around vacation requests (as is possible to accommodate).  For upper-levels you are able to pick templates that you can tailor vacation timing preferences. We work very hard to accommodate your vacation needs, however this has created a challenging potential for conflict, since for many rotations one resident leaving necessitates calling in another for adequate coverage and safe patient care. 

As a result, some rotations can be very problematic if people request vacation as that would cause a undue burden on the service and may require getting coverage from another resident. 

Another variable is that coverage for major holidays needs to be equitable.


Below lists the rotations where vacation requests will be difficult to get coverage for:

  • Inpatient Wards: vacation would be problematic given requirement to have another resident cover, potential to cause lack of adequate patient care, and may affect your ACGME required hours/numbers of patients seen in certain settings
  • MCH: vacation would be problematic (see above) except in unusual circumstances
  • Night float rotations (including MCH Junior Night Float): would be problematic except in unusual circumstances
  • ICN3: vacation during ICN is also problematic since it by default creates difficult work schedules for the pediatrics residents.
  • Newborn Nursery: vacation would be problematic on this important but only 2-week experience.
  • Inpatient Pediatrics: vacation must be in 7 consecutive days.  Block 7 has built in holiday compensation during which you will get either 5 days around Christmas or around New Year’s Eve that will not be taken out of your leave.  Therefore, they will likely not be able to grant leave during this time to make sure that everyone gets these extra days off.
  • 2-week rotations not on this list: please be mindful of taking vacation on Sports Medicine, it is a high quality experience desired by many students and residents of other departments. Additionally, the available time is limited.  When our residents take vacation on the rotation it prohibits others from using that time that then is unused.  Also, it’s perceived as a high-value experience and a clinical area of weakness for many of our residents. 
  • Pediatric ER: vacation is problematic.  The rationale is that if a resident takes vacation, they will not obtain the required RRC number of Peds ER patients and there is no time that could be made up due to amount of learners on that rotation.
  • Cardiology/ED3:  see above- in terms of numbers that ACGME requires for all residents and these are both areas that our residents struggle to meet ACGME required numbers in.


IV. Wellness ½ days

Starting July 2017 UNM will provide a ½ day of paid wellness every 3 months to every resident, for the purpose of attending to personal health and well-being.  Some examples of such activities include medical and dental appointments, physical therapy and counseling.  A quarter’s accrual may be saved up to an additional quarter, to use in conjunction with the next quarter’s accrual for a total of 1 full day every 6 months.  The idea is that this is additional time during the week for residents to get things done, especially beneficial for residencies that don’t allow for vacation to be taken in increments less than 7 days.

We treat wellness half days like vacation, with limitations about when they can be taken being the same as in section IV.  We ask for 90 days lead time to cancel clinic, 30 days for other rotation experiences. If an appointment needs to be made within 7 days, we ask sick leave be taken.  These days will be tracked by the residency office.


V. Educational Leave

GME policy of the Educational Leave Policy is that educational leave time to study for exams is not permitted,  you can take in person study courses but not on-line courses.  Below is text from the Houseofficer’s Manual Policy:

“Educational activities including but not limited to presenting papers, taking state and national examinations, or attending educational seminars may be allowed, with pay, with advance approval of a Houseofficer’s Program Director. The annual educational leave allowance shall be five (5) days. At the discretion of the Program Director, Houseofficers shall be permitted to split educational leave time or use it as a whole unit. Educational leave cannot be carried over from one academic year to another. Educational leave should not be used for conducting CIR business.”


We ask for 90 days lead time to cancel clinic as it causes undue burden on the clinics and the patients to re-schedule prior to that, 30 days for other rotation experiences.


VII. Holiday Comp Leave

Holiday Comp Time is earned when you work a holiday and are not given time off during the rotation.   Holidays include 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Memorial Day (7 total).  During your Inpatient Wards, MCH, Pediatric Rotations and Emergency Medicine you are given additional time off during that rotation when it happens during the Christmas/NY holiday so you do not earn holiday time off.  The residency office tracks this time off from the duty hours that you log into New Innovations.  If it is not logged in New Innovations, you will not receive credit.  Holiday time carries over from year to year and you must follow the same guidelines as Annual Leave when requesting the time off.  Residents are only allowed to request 2 comp days per required rotations except on electives and it can't exceed the limit of 5 weekdays and 2 weekend days of leave off any required rotations. Residents need to use 75% of your Holiday Comp Leave (earned in years 1 and 2) by the end of of your PGY 2 Year; if it is not requested by the end of December (PGY 2 Year) it will be assigned to you.


VII. Conclusion

The vacation policy is always dynamic and a work in progress. We will continue to iron out concerns that arise in a way that is equitable and fair to all, our ultimate goal.



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