Paid Time Off Benefits

Vacation/Paid Time Off
American Boards
Educational Seminars
Leave of Absence
Make-Up Time
Additional Provisions for Leaves of Absence 
Military Leave of Absence


Paid time off for residents and fellows will be encouraged for the purpose of increasing the personal well-being of the house staff member. The intent of the Paid Time-Off Policy is to give each resident and fellow in PGY levels 1 and 2 three seven-day weeks free from their training responsibilities and each resident and fellow in PGY levels 3 and above four seven-day weeks free from their training responsibilities.

Each training program must have an explicit written Paid Time-Off Policy which must be in accordance with the IUSM GME Paid time-off policy. The departmental policy should encompass the specifics of its specialty Board certification requirements.

All PGY1s and 2s will receive three seven-day weeks free from their training responsibilities. This consists of 15 weekdays and 6 weekend days.

 All PGY3s and above will receive four seven-day weeks free from their training responsibilities. This consists of 20 weekdays and 8 weekend days.

With evidence of compelling reasons, up to two weeks of paid time off, i.e., ten weekdays and four weekend days, can be rolled over into the first contiguous four (or six) weeks of the next postgraduate year of training. No more than two weeks can be reassigned and approval must be obtained from the program director in advance. All Board requirements must still be observed.

No payment will be made for unused paid time off at the completion of training.

Programs may place limits on the times of the year when paid time off can be taken.

Paid time off must be taken as part of the School of Medicine leave and counted against the six weeks paid leave; this applies to the FMLA leave as well (See IUSM Leave of Absence Policy). Stated another way, the amount of paid time off already taken in a given year will reduce the amount of paid leave available to the trainee.

Paid time off for personal days, interview days, meeting times, or holidays will be at the discretion of the program director and may be affected by the assigned rotation and subspecialty Board certification requirements.

Time off and holiday assignments may be affected by agreements with rotation hosts (department or hospital systems) for off-service, off-site, or away rotations.

Denial of paid time off may be at the discretion of the program director to remediate documented deficiencies.

In the case of a stated hospital or regional emergency, urgent professional responsibilities may cancel previously arranged paid time off.

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In order to meet the educational requirements for each resident, it is necessary to consult the American Boards of each specialty to determine the maximum leave allowed for a resident to remain Board eligible. Some Boards clearly state the maximum time allowed for leaves; some have no specific policy; while others defer to the program director. Therefore, each Board must be consulted in order to determine if makeup time is required.

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If a program director specifies certain seminars, meetings, or courses as part of the educational experience, residents at Level II or higher may be granted a few days' leave with pay. If a house officer wishes to attend a meeting, symposium, etc., which is not on the specified list, this should be done as part of annual paid time off. All educational leaves are at the discretion of the department chair and no additional pay or compensating time off will be granted. Each program director determines whether expenses will be provided for attending medical conferences. 

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The IU School of Medicine Leave of Absence Policy for House Staff was developed to serve the best interests of the individual resident, the resident's colleagues, and to meet the resident's program goals as well as the goals of the School of Medicine. The education of the residents is of primary concern; patient care is not to be jeopardized, nor the education of medical students hampered.

Key Provisions:

The School of Medicine provides eligible house staff two types of leaves of absence, a standard leave of absence, and a family/medical leave of absence in accordance with the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 (FMLA).

Generally, full-time house staff may be granted up to six weeks paid leave with full benefits for bona fide events including: Short-term disability or sick leave, and parental leave. The department chair/program director will determine what constitutes a bona fide leave and the length of leave on a case-by-case basis.

Eligible house staff (house staff who have worked for the School of Medicine at least twelve months and at least 1250 hours during the twelve-month period prior to the first day of leave.) are entitled by law to a maximum of twelve weeks of FMLA leave (up to six weeks paid and six weeks unpaid) with full benefits for the following qualifying events: Birth of a child or care for the newborn; placement with the employee of a child for adoption or foster care; the need for the house staff member to care for a spouse, child, or parent with a serious health condition; a serious health condition that renders the house staff member unable to perform the functions of the job.All requests for leaves of absence will be made in writing to the department chair/program director at least thirty days in advance, or as soon as reasonably practicable. In addition, all requests for leaves of absence require the final approval of the Director for Graduate Medical Education.

Paid time off must be taken as part of the School of Medicine leave and counted against the six weeks paid leave; this applies to the FMLA leave as well.

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For a leave of absence that extends beyond the maximum allowed by the specialty Board, the department has the responsibility to see that the best interest of the educational program, as well as the interest of the resident is served. In order to assure the highest quality education, the department may decide that making up absent time would not be satisfactory. The program director will ultimately decide how to resolve these situations. However, potential problems involving makeup time do not grant the program director the authority to deny FMLA leave to someone lawfully entitled to it.

Any makeup time that is required will be scheduled with an effort to best accommodate the needs of the resident, but makeup time cannot be guaranteed. When makeup time is scheduled, the resident ordinarily will be required to make up the absent time in excess of six weeks (or the maximum allowed by the specialty Board) at the end of the academic year in which the absence occurred. This makeup time will necessarily delay the beginning of each of the resident's subsequent academic years by an amount equal to the makeup time. In effect, the resident's senior year will extend beyond June 30 by an amount equal to the makeup time. Any required makeup time will be paid and all fringe benefits provided.

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If a leave extends past six weeks in the first twelve months of a resident/fellow appointment or twelve weeks for all other appointments, health benefits may be provided at the house staff member's expense and with the approval of the School of Medicine.

This document is not intended to cover all of the provisions of the FMLA. Some of the key requirements of the FMLA are listed that will have the most significant impact on personnel practices for house staff. If more information is required, please contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education.


Short Tours of Military Duty

A house staff member will receive fifteen days of paid leave for military training in the National Guard or military reserves in any one military year (October 1 to September 30). Available vacation time may be taken to receive pay for military training that exceeds fifteen days. All fringe benefits will continue to be provided for up to six weeks of military leave. Written military orders must be submitted to the program director as soon as possible to allow for revision of the rotation and on-call schedules.

Extended Active Military Duty

A house staff member inducted to active military duty through Selective Service, voluntary enlistment, or called through membership in the National Guard or military reserves will be granted leave without pay. A house staff member who is on leave of absence for military duty, and eligible dependents, may continue participating in the Indiana University School of Medicine-sponsored medical and dental plans for up to 24 months following the beginning of the employee’s leave of absence for military duty. To continue coverage, the house staff member must pay the total monthly premium for the continuation coverage period.

A military leave of absence may extend to four years. An additional year of leave may be taken at the request of or for the convenience of the federal government, even if the additional year is voluntary. Upon return from military leave of absence the house staff member will be reinstated in his/her former position, provided the house staff member meets all conditions for eligibility. Military leaves may result in extension of training periods based on the requirements of individual ABMS specialty boards.

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