dggopal

Fluffy McFlufferson
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Apr 9, 2006
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Does anyone else have sick leave come out of their PTO time? Our program gives us 15 days PTO including all time off no matter what including sick leave. The deadline to submit vacation requests is tomorrow and I have asked the coordinator about what happens if we schedule all our PTO and we end up getting sick and he just says there is some flexibility in intern year. I don't really know what that means but that's been his response twice.

At this point I am leaving 3 days of PTO unscheduled just in case I end up getting sick or something.... but it seems stupid to not schedule 3 days of time off.

Anyone else have this problem?
 

Doctor Bagel

so cheap and juicy
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Does anyone else have sick leave come out of their PTO time? Our program gives us 15 days PTO including all time off no matter what including sick leave. The deadline to submit vacation requests is tomorrow and I have asked the coordinator about what happens if we schedule all our PTO and we end up getting sick and he just says there is some flexibility in intern year. I don't really know what that means but that's been his response twice.

At this point I am leaving 3 days of PTO unscheduled just in case I end up getting sick or something.... but it seems stupid to not schedule 3 days of time off.

Anyone else have this problem?
That sounds inadequate, but it sounds like your coordinator is telling you to schedule all the vacation you have and that they'll find a way to make it work if you get sick for a few days. If I were you, I'd go ahead and schedule all your vacation.
 

LucidSplash

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For what it is worth, this was how things worked for me in my job before medical school. Instead of sick leave and vacation time we had bundled time called PTO. It was up to us how we used it - but it also rolled over year to year which is probably different for you. This is how many employers do things instead of making employees get doctors notes for staying home for a day or two with the flu, GI bug, etc.
 
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northernpsy

Psychiatrist. No, I'm not analyzing you
Jan 20, 2016
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I like PTO - it is really better to be able to just schedule all your time off as vacations rather than feeling like you're "wasting" days off as sick time that you never ended up needing.
Just go ahead and schedule all the time. In most residencies, calling in sick is very much frowned upon, much more so than in most other jobs, so I would say that unless you are truly extremely ill you shouldn't do it - and most likely you're not going to get THAT sick, hopefully.

Of course, sometimes it is unavoidable - I once tried to work on IM wards despite being sick with gastroenteritis, and I had to leave when I realized I was too sick to physically manage walking to my patients' rooms to round. The ward senior still freaked out over me calling in sick, of course, but I just could not do it. In the long run it didn't matter thankfully - but, still, there were times after that when I worked even though I didn't feel good because of how the culture can be in medicine.
 

AMEHigh

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Jul 25, 2008
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Yes that's how ours is as well. I plan to use it all for vacation. Thankfully I think I've only taken 2-3 sick days my entire life and during residency I would have to be very ill to not make it in. My program is pretty understanding though, so if I were to become really ill with no sick time left I'm sure they'd work with me in some way. Since you can't roll over vacation days I'm not going to not take them.
 

gutonc

No Meat, No Treat
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This is much easier to deal with in a "real" job (attending physician or non-medical) than it is as a resident/fellow. I had to request all of my vacation time at the beginning of the year when I was a resident (as I'm sure everyone else did). If you have X days to request and Y days of wiggle room/sick time, it's a little easier than trying to figure out if you're going to be sick in the next 12 months and how much of that time you need to set aside.

All that said, I took a grand total of 2 sick days during my 6 years of training. One was an extra day at the end of my paternity leave (which was 2 of my 3 vacation weeks as an intern) and the other was a viral gastroenteritis while I was on the BMT service as a fellow. Coverage was obtained easily in both cases and I'm still carrying the "sick time" in my account (I work as an attending where I trained). I currently have 11 weeks of sick time banked.

Bottom line...it probably doesn't really matter. Take your 3w of vacation. If you get legit sick and need the time off this year, you (the PD and Chief(s)) will figure something out.
 
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seap3

7+ Year Member
Jan 31, 2010
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Makes me really appreciate our residency. We have a generous amount of PTO. Sick days do not count towards that, we still are paid for sick days. We just can't go over the ACGME limit of 30 missed days in a year (including PTO) or missing more than 25% of a rotation. We are able to schedule all of our PTO as real vacation.
 

Raryn

Infernal Internist / Enigmatic Endocrinologist
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Apr 25, 2008
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We got 4 weeks of vacation and up to 12 days of sick leave/year that was use it or lose it. I know of no one that used all 12 days except maybe that was part of the arrangement of maternity leave for some of my coresidents. If you called in sick on an inpatient service, you had to make up the time to pay back whoever had to cover you.

I used a handful of days. I think 1 day intern year, 1 day second year, and something like 4 or 5 days third year (which may or may not have been one day for a terrible migraine and the rest used as extra days for fellowship interviews since my program was very inflexible with professional days for that, but meh).