February 19, 2021 - Residency/Fellowship News

New Family Leave Policy for Residents and Fellows

PM&R residents and fellows often find themselves making important life decisions during their residency training, including the decision to have children or obligations to serve as caregivers for family members. The ABPMR wants to ensure residents and fellows have the autonomy and flexibility to take on important roles in their personal lives while still being able to complete their training requirements in PM&R.

Based on guidance from the American Board of Medical Specialties’ (ABMS) recently announced policy to offer residents and fellows more balance with their training and family life, the ABPMR has approved its new leave policy which will go into effect in July 2021; read the full policy here.

Existing ABPMR policy allows PM&R residents and fellows to take up to six weeks away from training annually. Starting in July 2021, all residents in PM&R training programs, and fellows in 2-year fellowships, will be allowed up to an additional four consecutive weeks away from training for parental, caregiver, and medical leave— without using up time allotted for vacation or sick leave or requiring an extension in training. These additional four weeks can be taken once during the entirety of training, NOT annually.

Trainees may use this additional time off for the birth and care of a newborn, adopted, or foster child (parental leave); care of an immediate family member (child, spouse or parent) with a serious health condition (caregiver leave); or the trainee’s own serious health condition (medical leave).

Trainees must receive approval from a residency program director prior to taking this leave time. Trainees, please communicate with your program directors if you wish to use this time away, and reach out to the ABPMR if you have questions or would like more information.