shahseh22

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I was just curious how do programs typically handle residents taking time off for fellowship interviews during residency. Do you typically use your vacation days? I am in Psychiatry and applying to Child Psych fellowship. Are program's generally accommodating to let you use a sick day or an educational day? The thing is that I am applying to my own Residency's fellowship as well so I don't want to ruin my impression in front of them. I wanted to save my vacation days for when I move for fellowship.

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hamstergang

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If you're not sick you shouldn't use a sick day; that would be lying. Why would this not be a vacation day? If you're taking a day off of work that's what it is.
 

DrfluffyMD

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If you're not sick you shouldn't use a sick day; that would be lying. Why would this not be a vacation day? If you're taking a day off of work that's what it is.
I believe some employers allow personal days. I personally had an alottment of interview days.
 
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mvenus929

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Our institution allows 5 days for interviews. After that, you are to use your vacation time. In practice, we try to schedule rotations where it doesn't matter as much that someone can't be there for a few more days than the 5 allotted (which means, no inpatient, no core electives). More than a few of our residents opt to take a year off and apply during their gap year because it's easier to schedule logistically (amongst other reasons).
 
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guytakingboards

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My program gives 3 days off and anything above that is a vacation day. However, we have several extremely flexible rotations where residents are able to take additional interviews with some trading or creative scheduling.
 

PTPoeny

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My program scheduled those of us interviewing for fellowships on "shift work" rotations for one of the months of interviews- ie ED and sick visit clinic so that month we worked with each other to get everyone to all of their interviews without using vacation days. If we needed to take days off during another rotation we used vacation days.
 
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shahseh22

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i'm actually in an outpatient clinic rotation, so I will have to re-arrange my patients accordingly.
 

LucidSplash

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As a surgical resident -

You and your co-residents make it work by whatever means necessary, involving program leadership only if absolutely no other options available
Very program dependent. My gen surg program required us to use vacation. Those in their last two years had an extra week of vacation to help with this, but interviews were all vacations days.
 

splik

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There are lots of ways this is done - some people have to take unpaid leave, others use educational leave, others are allowed to use their accrued sick leave, others still are forced to use vacation. In some surgical subspecialties I have heard it is common for residents not to get anytime off and they have to use the professional meeting to interview with all the fellowship directors and never actually go and visit the hospital before hand; in others the residents get a lot of time off (like a month) just to interview for competitive fellowships.

My opinion is that programs should want their residents to get jobs or match into the fellowship program of their choice, otherwise what the hell is the point of doing a residency. To that end they should provide time off in order to interview for as many interviews as necessary (though of course there should be some limit). As a resident I was allowed unlimited time to interview for fellowships (and did not have to use my vacation, and was in addition to my 15 days of educational leave, and as a fellow I was also allowed time off (I took about 5 days and was granted additional time off for interviews I cancelled) for job interviews and did not have to use vacation (and this was in addition to 10 days of educational leave).

As a psychiatry resident, given it is an outpatient heavy specialty and you don't need anyone to cover for you except for refills etc, you should easily be able to cancel clinics and there is no reason they shouldn't allow you to take time off and should not require you to use vacation. It is a black mark on a program if they dont make reasonable accommodations for you to interview.
 
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shahseh22

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There are lots of ways this is done - some people have to take unpaid leave, others use educational leave, others are allowed to use their accrued sick leave, others still are forced to use vacation. In some surgical subspecialties I have heard it is common for residents not to get anytime off and they have to use the professional meeting to interview with all the fellowship directors and never actually go and visit the hospital before hand; in others the residents get a lot of time off (like a month) just to interview for competitive fellowships.

My opinion is that programs should want their residents to get jobs or match into the fellowship program of their choice, otherwise what the hell is the point of doing a residency. To that end they should provide time off in order to interview for as many interviews as necessary (though of course there should be some limit). As a resident I was allowed unlimited time to interview for fellowships (and did not have to use my vacation, and was in addition to my 15 days of educational leave, and as a fellow I was also allowed time off (I took about 5 days and was granted additional time off for interviews I cancelled) for job interviews and did not have to use vacation (and this was in addition to 10 days of educational leave).

As a psychiatry resident, given it is an outpatient heavy specialty and you don't need anyone to cover for you except for refills etc, you should easily be able to cancel clinics and there is no reason they shouldn't allow you to take time off and should not require you to use vacation. It is a black mark on a program if they dont make reasonable accommodations for you to interview.
Thats highly generous of your program. I will check to see what my program allows.
 

pathslides

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We were given 5 extra days for interviews. That's nuts some people have to take unpaid days.
 

Winged Scapula

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That's the way it should be.

I had friends whose PDs tried to actively limit the number of interviews they went on. I can't imagine that. Ensuring your graduates' success should be a high priority
Mine worked as yours did: we scheduled the interviews and worked it out with the other residents in terms of coverage. I don't recall anybody being required to use vacation or other designated time off.

Some of the attendings did grumble about it but our program director reminded them what the ultimate goal was. Besides the ones to complain about it were the ones who tended to complain about everything.
 

killerleaf

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Our program gives you 5 days in your last two years to interview (a total of 10 days). Most interview for a fellowship where they are scheduled in the June/July/August time frame, so they can "stretch" those days across the two academic years, and it usually works out fine. I think the only time we had to limit someone is a resident a few years ago, who ended up with 20 interviews. We worked it so that their travel day they used vacation, and interview leave for the actual interview day. It works well, at least for us.
 

Raryn

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My program gave us 2 days. 2 more if we agreed to work an extra ICU shift. Anything above that had to be vacation time...

... I had some severe migraines Fall of my third year that precluded me coming in to work on a few elective Fridays and Mondays.
 

aProgDirector

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... I had some severe migraines Fall of my third year that precluded me coming in to work on a few elective Fridays and Mondays.
I can't help but mention that this is very bad advice. If you call in sick, and then it's discovered that you were not sick and in fact were off travelling somewhere else, that's grounds for immediate termination. I realize your program may have left you no choice other than using vac (which I think is a crappy option), but lying about an absence is trouble if you're caught.

Many years ago, one of my residents informed me that she was going on interviews. Being the good guy I am, I contacted what I thought was the best of her options to tell them that I thought she was great. They had no idea who she was. She was in my office the next day, told her what happened, asked for proof of all the rest of her interviews. She refused. I fired her on the spot. More extreme than you sick-day-for-a-real-interview, but our GME policy is very clear -- lying like this can result in immediate termination.
 

rokshana

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I can't help but mention that this is very bad advice. If you call in sick, and then it's discovered that you were not sick and in fact were off travelling somewhere else, that's grounds for immediate termination. I realize your program may have left you no choice other than using vac (which I think is a crappy option), but lying about an absence is trouble if you're caught.

Many years ago, one of my residents informed me that she was going on interviews. Being the good guy I am, I contacted what I thought was the best of her options to tell them that I thought she was great. They had no idea who she was. She was in my office the next day, told her what happened, asked for proof of all the rest of her interviews. She refused. I fired her on the spot. More extreme than you sick-day-for-a-real-interview, but our GME policy is very clear -- lying like this can result in immediate termination.
i think raryn is joking...
 

Raryn

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i think raryn is joking...
Somewhat.

I used my vacation for interviewing out of state (including the program I ended up going to). My program also insisted that everyone except the rising chiefs work through June 30th, and my new program required orientation starting June 22nd, so I had to use vacation for the transition period as well. Between the two, I had no real vacations at all that year.

There were two in-state interviews I couldn't fit in during the time I took for traveling and the few days we had allotted to us. So for those, where I drove there the night before and back the same day, I did call in sick. But for both of those days I was on an elective service where no one had to cover for me. Before that point, I had used ~1 sick day all of residency, and given the lack of flexibility, I didn't feel particularly bad about using the sick leave. I suppose if I happened to run into my program director in a starbucks of the city of my interview the day I called in sick I'd have been screwed, but after three years of service I figured it was fairly unlikely I'd be fired outright (to be honest, I didn't even consider it a possibility. The worst they ever threatened anyone with was an extra weekend shift).
 
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qwerty89

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Damn. We are explicitly told that using sick days for things like doctors appointments are totally fine. Same with academic half days. Interviews? No problem. As long as you aren’t on call. Even if you are you just switch with another resident.

Then again Radiology is different due to the lack of continuity of care.
 
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