The ABR is seeking input from stakeholders regarding minimum requirements for time served during residency while avoiding an extension of training to be considered board eligible. We are actively seeking comment now so that we may develop a reasonable plan before July 1 to comply with an ABMS requirement announced last year to clearly state these requirements in our policies.
Extreme scenarios might serve to define the question. Most trainees and faculty would agree that an absence of a full year from a four-year residency would have a negative impact on training. Conversely, restricting time off to not more than two weeks per year likely would be considered an unreasonable infringement on the needs of family and work-life balance. We need your input to develop a policy that appropriately balances the need for personal time including vacation as well as parental, caregiver, and/or medical leave with the need for adequate training.
It is important to realize that the ABR is not restricting the amount of time an institution might choose to allow for parental, caregiver, and/or medical leave, nor are we limiting the amount of vacation a residency program might choose to provide. These are local decisions and the ABR does not presume to make these determinations. However, above a certain limit (not yet determined), an extension of training might be needed to satisfy the requirement for completion of the residency.
If you would be willing to share your thoughts directly with the ABR so that we may consider diverse perspectives as we deliberate on this in the next few months, please click here. Please provide comments before April 15. We are particularly interested in your recommendation of the maximum number of days or weeks (per year or total) that a resident can be absent for any reason before an extension of training would be needed. We will maintain confidentiality and your input will not be shared outside of the ABR.
Vincent Mathews, MD
Brent Wagner, MD