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Research Letter
December 11, 2018

Specialty Board Leave Policies for Resident Physicians Requesting Parental Leave

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Urology, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston
JAMA. 2018;320(22):2374-2377. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.15889

A study of family and childbearing leave policies for academic faculty members at 12 top US medical schools found the mean duration of paid childbearing leave was 8.6 weeks in 2016-2017.1 For physicians in residency training, determinations of parental leave duration are complicated by training requirements set forth by specialty boards. Board policies aimed at ensuring adequate preparation for independent practice often include time-based residency training requirements. Residents taking more than the allowed leave may have to extend training to be eligible for board certification. In practice, decisions on parental leave for resident physicians are typically made with residency program directors, which are influenced by specialty board organization leave policies. We identified and compared leave policies for resident physicians among American Board of Medical Specialty (ABMS) member organizations (boards).