Vacation and Leave Policy

University Standard Vacation Guidelines

Residents are given 20 weekdays of vacation (as stated in the policy by Graduate Medical Education Committee of the University of the Nebraska Medical Center) in four blocks of one week at a time. Vacations are scheduled in weekly blocks in the spring of the preceding year.  Scheduling preferences are given in descending order beginning with HO V, HO IV, HO III, HO II and HO I. 

Submitting Vacation Requests

  • HO II, III, IV, and V residents will be asked to submit their top 4 week choices in spring of the preceding year.  Residents will be informed of their approved vacation weeks before the beginning of the new academic year.  The program will work to grant the highest ranked vacation choices to each resident. Requests will be accommodated based on the seniority of the resident, date of submission and the educational needs of the entire program. 
  • HO I's can request two x 1 week blocks of vacation. The other two x 1 week blocks will need to be taken during the Anesthesia rotation (1 week) and ER rotation (1 week) for a total of 4 weeks. 
  • There are two time periods when vacations will not be granted: between June 15 and July 15 and in the week of the ABSITE exam.  The ABSITE takes place during the last week of January.  
  • Holidays and floating holidays are considered working days.  If a resident would like a holiday off, it must be submitted as a vacation request. 
  • Residents will not be allowed to take time off during their night float rotation. 
  • Some residents may elect to take vacation in a two-week block to allow for extended travel.  In this case, the residents should submit the request as the last week of a service and the first week of the succeeding service.  This requires special approval by the Program Director and should be addressed with the Program Director prior to submitting vacation requests.   
  • Residents that plan to attend interviews or leave early for Fellowships  should be aware of the leave policy as stated by the American Board of Surgery (see below). Time taken for attending interviews, leaving early for Fellowships or absence due to visa issues will be counted towards vacation time. 
  • 6 weeks are given for maternity leave and will be considered sick leave.
  • 5 days are given for paternity leave and will be considered sick leave.  

American Board of Surgery: New leave policy approved 2012
Applicants for general surgery certification must acquire no fewer than 48 weeks of full-time experience in each residency year. This is required regardless of the amount of operative experience obtained. All vacation and leave time taken during residency must be accounted for on the application for certification, including time taken for interviews, visa issues, early departures for fellowships, and time taken to attend meetings/conferences requiring  greater than 48 hours of  absence from clinical duties.(written clarification as per American Board of Surgery) . 

Residents should plan on applying for vacation at the appropriate time of the year to maximize the potential to attend interviews. As stated above, all such days cannot affect the 48 weeks of full-time training per year that is mandatory. 

Any change requests to the vacation schedule must be approved by the the Program Director.