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Time off for surgery

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oldiebutgoodie1211

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Long story short my friend is a pgy2 psych resident and is requiring surgery and his doc told him he might have to take off 3 weeks of work post surgery to recover, is this possible? Would he use all of his vacation time for this? Is this even allowed or would he have to extend his training? He’s very worried and I’m honestly not sure of the answer
 

HemeOncHopeful19

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I’m sure this is something that is technically program dependent but I doubt it would extend his training. At least for IM the rules are that you can’t miss more than X days/weeks per year and they don’t really care if it’s 1 week or 4 weeks in a row but even then there’s wiggle room. His program would need to be ok with it but for surgery/medical reasons I would think it’d be supported at least in my program (and we might even try to save him some vacay time).
 
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rokshana

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He can take fmla for the surgery...if it’s only 3 weeks , it shouldn’t extend his training, but if he wants to be paid, then will need to use sick days or vacation time.
 
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RangerBob

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This happens all the time. Not necessarily surgery, but a resident needing a few weeks off (like maternity leave).

Yes, the resident will need to use their vacation/sick time. Or take unpaid leave. They will need to run it by their program director regarding the timing (if it's emergent/urgent I doubt there would be any kickback, but if it's elective the PD may ask the resident schedule it on a particular rotation that better allows time off).

Most residency programs allow you to take a max of about 4 weeks/one month off per year without extending your residency. I read in another thread that psych may not have this policy because there's so much elective time built into the residency, but I don't know if that's actually true.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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Many residency programs (I hope?) have paid medical leave. If so, they will get paid -- usually 100% of salary for some period of time, sometimes 70-80%. And they would not need to use vacation. Most boards have some flexibility with LOA's, it's unlikely training would be extended for anything less than a month. But those rules are by specialty, so hard to generalize.
 
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oldiebutgoodie1211

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Many residency programs (I hope?) have paid medical leave. If so, they will get paid -- usually 100% of salary for some period of time, sometimes 70-80%. And they would not need to use vacation. Most boards have some flexibility with LOA's, it's unlikely training would be extended for anything less than a month. But those rules are by specialty, so hard to generalize.

wow that’s great news I will share with him! Thanks for the insight doc!
 

kchan99

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Depending on the nature of the surgery...research rotation?
 
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hallowmann

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Long story short my friend is a pgy2 psych resident and is requiring surgery and his doc told him he might have to take off 3 weeks of work post surgery to recover, is this possible? Would he use all of his vacation time for this? Is this even allowed or would he have to extend his training? He’s very worried and I’m honestly not sure of the answer

ACGME RRC governs how much time/year you can take off without extending training. Even the most stringent RRCs allow up to 3-4 wks off/year without extending training. This can be done as a medical leave, FMLA, vacation/sick time, whatever. It needs to be cleared with the PD.

For Psych, there is actually a lot of leeway as far as I know, and as long as their PD is OK with it, it shouldn't be a big issue. I've known people to take 6-8 wks off without extending training, but usually this was combined with something like a parental elective (you do a project where you research something about parenting that you learn and present it from a clinical and parent perspective). Another option, fortunately in the time of a pandemic, is distance learning. Many programs are creating "at-home" curricula given the pandemic, so as above depending on the surgery, you may be able to just use elective time.
 
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I was out for several weeks intern year for a medical issue- some of it was PTO and the rest was a leave of absence with my salary partially paid by short term disability insurance. I’ll finish PGY3 a little later than the rest of my class. At the end of the day, not a big deal. Tell your friend not to stress too hard.
 
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NotAProgDirector

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This is a minor point, but if your disability benefit is paid with post tax dollars (i.e. it's included in your W-2 as income), then when you claim disability to get the money tax free. It's one of the benefits that you (usually) want to have taxed, because it makes the benefit worth much more.
 
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