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Discussion in 'Surgery and Surgical Subspecialties' started by kreno, Apr 26, 2007.
Vacation: important for everyone
The "reason" I was given at my former program for having a week less vacation than every other residency in the hospital was that to fulfill the ACS requirements you couldn't have more than 3 weeks vacation.
Obviously that isn't true, as you can take 4 weeks each year and still fulfill the requirements. However, some may fear that giving you more vacation may mean that if you take time off for illness, paternity/maternity leave, conferences, etc. you might be in danger of not meeting the requirements. I would think in most cases however, its just a matter of not caring whether or not the residents have enough rest.
Its not a reason to choose a program, obviously, but it sure is nice to have more than 2 weeks and to be able to spread them out (some make you take them all in one block - poor soul if you get the block during July).
One of my friends went to a residency that gave you a 4 week block of vacation. You did not get to choose which 4 week period you got. He started July 1st and got the month of August off for vacation. The next academic year, he wasn't scheduled for his vacation until the following May. So, he had a 20 month gap between his "vacations". Poor guy nearly had a break down.
That sounds horrific.
Ugh...exactly the reason why I think this block vacation concept is ridiculous.
you have found the one weakness of the block vacation.
that said, it makes it easier for everyone to have your vacation blocked off - i.e. no q2 for you when you're back and everyone else while they are covering you 'cause schedules are made for appropriate coverage of a service based upon who will be there for the ENTIRE month.
also, if you are a traveller like me, having 1 month facilitates your ability to go far - e.g. africa, asia, australia rather than a quickie vacation in florida or the bahamas.
so before you knock it, realize it is good for some and not for others. depends on what you want. but it is brutal if you have it too early one year and too late the next. ugh.
I see what you're saying, geekgirl. I think the block schedule would be fabulous if you could have a fair bit of say in to when you get it off; Lord knows I'd love to have 2 weeks off in October for my wedding this year and then 2 weeks off in January for interviews, but that's not to happen. But if you have 1 year's vacation early and the next year's vacation late, ohhhhh that's horrible.
I can think of a few more, the main one being an absolute lack of flexibility, and needing to have your vacation plans ironed out a year or so in advance.
Anyway, I think I can safely assume that 90-95% of surgery residents aren't world travelers, and instead have wives/children where a 1 month block isn't conducive to multiple family activities.
I would say as a general rule, it's good for a few and not for most.