Parental Leave During Residency Training

1.        Any parental leave plan utilized by a family
           medicine residency program
           must:

            a.    Safeguard the health of the parent
                   and child,
            b.    Assure that the resident fulfills all
                   educational requirements, and
            c.    Assure that the patient care is uninterrupted by the resident's
                   absence.

2.        There are a number of factors which will affect the specific provisions in
            a parental leave plan, and which must be taken into consideration in
            developing the plan. The factors include:

            a.  Compliance with Certifying Boards. The American Board of Family
                 Medicine (ABFM) has established requirements with respect to the
                 amount of time a resident may be absent from his or her training
                 program in any 12-month period and still retain eligibility to make
                 application for the ABFM examination. The ABFM's most current
                 version of these requirements may be found at
                 https://www.theabfm.org/cert/absence.aspx(www.theabfm.org). The American
                 Osteopathic Board of Family Physicians’ (AOBFP) requirements
                 may be different than those of the ABFM and have varied over time.
                 The AOBFM staff should be consulted to ensure compliance with
                 the relevant current requirements. https://www.aobfp.org(www.aobfp.org).
             b. Some residency programs may be subject to various federal and
                 state laws, including the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
                 These laws may impose certain requirements on parental leave
                 plans utilized by family medicine residency programs and may
                 guarantee certain rights for residency programs and for residents
                 taking parental leave.

3.        Subject to applicable law, the AAFP recommends that the following be
           incorporated in residency programs parental leave plans:

           a. Expectant mothers must be allowed the same sick leave or disability
               benefits as other residents.
               i. Expectant partners and adoptive parents should be allowed the
                  same leave or disability benefits as other residents.
           b. The category of leave credited (sick, vacation, parental, short-term)
               should be specified.
           c. Whether leave is paid or unpaid should be specified.
           d. The minimum duration of parental leave for residents should be
               based on the written recommendations of the physician(s) caring for
               the resident and infant and/or state and federal laws. The resident
               should be encouraged to take the longest leave that is feasible for
               the resident and the program to enhance parent-infant bonding and
               facilitate breastfeeding initiation.
           e. Residency programs are encouraged to allow residents to design
               home-study or reading electives which should comply with Review
               Committee - Family Medicine (RC-FM) requirements, for use around
               the estimated delivery date (EDD) or adoption and after delivery to
               minimize the time needed away from the residency. Such home
               study electives would be likely to include some Family Medicine
               Center (FMC) time weekly in order to meet RC-FM continuity
               requirements for the FMC.
            f. The expectant or adoptive parent should notify the program director
               and those responsible for scheduling of rotations and call as soon
               as pregnancy or adoption is confirmed. Coverage of responsibilities
               during the leave should be arranged as early as possible.
            g. Efforts should be made to schedule the most demanding rotations
                earlier in the pregnancy, allowing for the least strenuous rotations to
                be performed around the time of the resident's EDD.
            h. The rotation performed around the time of the EDD or adoption
                should be one in which the resident is not essential to the service
                and which would allow time off without jeopardizing patient care or
                disadvantaging the other residents in the program.
             i. The expectant or adoptive parent's call schedule should be
                arranged to have no call around the time of EDD or adoption and
                while on leave. The resident is expected to make up call before or
                after the leave, so other residents aren't disadvantaged.
             j. Residents taking parental leave must be able to return to the
                residency within a reasonable period of time without loss of training
                status.
             k. Provision for the continuation of the resident's insurance benefits
                 during the leave should be made and who pays for the premiums
                 should be specified.
             l.  Communication to each resident should be made regarding how the
                 leave will impact the resident's graduation and ability to sit for the
                 American Board of Family Medicine exam.
            m. The mechanisms available for making up time, or extending or
                 delaying training should be verified.
            n.  It should be verified if the extended training or make-up time will be
                 paid.
            o.  The expectant or adoptive parent(s) should notify the program
                 director and covering residents when labor and/or FMLA time
                 begins.

(2000)  (2016 December BOD)