News from the ABR

ABR Board Approves Residency Leave Policy

By Vincent P. Mathews, MD, ABR President


This past weekend, the ABR Board of Governors culminated months of partnership with stakeholders by approving a residency leave policy that allows residents with up to eight weeks (40 workdays) of time off per academic year to remain eligible for Initial Certification without an extension of training. The leave is averaged over the duration of a residency to provide more flexibility.


Vincent P. Mathews, MD
Vincent P. Mathews, MD

The policy was created with extensive input from candidates, program directors and other stakeholders representing numerous professional associations and specialty societies. Our outreach began last year with a goal of having the policy in place by July 1.


Highlights include:


  • The policy takes effect with the 2021-2022 academic year. Residents who began training prior to 2021 may apply for an exemption with approval of their program director (PD).


  • Time off includes vacation, bereavement leave, interview days away from the institution, parental leave, caregiver leave, sick time, and other leave as determined by the PD.


  • Residents with time off that exceeds the allowance must extend training beyond their planned graduation date. The length of extended training will be determined by the PD but must at least equal the excess number of workdays missed.


We are grateful to all of those in the radiology community who contributed to the development of this policy. We realize that family leave is an important matter that our trainees and programs must address. We believe that our policy provides our constituents as much flexibility to navigate this issue as that of any medical board.


Dr. Mathews is a professor and chair of radiology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He serves as one of nine members of the ABR Board of Governors. Anyone with questions or comments about this policy or any other certification matter should contact us at

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