Time Off (Vacation/Call/Sick leave)


The same rules outlined below apply for all residents rotating in medicine.  Your requests will be entered into Resident Calendar via the form linked below:

Off-Service Resident Time-Off Requests


In accordance with the PARO –CAHO agreement, “Requests for vacation shall be submitted in writing to the department head at least four (4) weeks before the proposed commencement of the vacation.” It is recommended that all requests be submitted before the 1st day of the block prior to the block with the request (i.e. a leave request for vacation in block 5 is due the day before block 4 begins). This ensures that the call schedule can be made on time.

We make every effort to accommodate everyone’s time off request that falls within this, however, resident are wise to plan early to assure they get the vacation that they wish and that they fulfill the requirements of the training program in Internal Medicine. Please remember that one-week vacation requests do not guarantee so-called “bookend” weekends.

Vacation time cannot be taken until approval of the Internal Medicine Program Office has been obtained. Vacation requests may be refused if professional and/or patient care responsibilities would be compromised.

NOTE: Taking time-off which has not been approved, will be considered a BREACH OF PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT. Residents taking unapproved time-off may be subject to disciplinary action.

Residents are entitled to:

  • 20 working days and 8 weekend days of vacation to be taken in segments of at least one (1) week
  • 7 professional days
  • 1 floating lieu day (see #1 below)
  • Lieu days earned from working a statutory holiday (see #1 below)
  • 5 days off either at Christmas or New Year (Please refer to Important Dates for assigned dates) (see #2 below)

Your home  program keeps track of all of your days off.

(1) Lieu Days:
You are entitled to one floating lieu day a year and can take a lieu day if you worked a statutory holiday. Christmas and New Year's lieu days are already included in the five days you get off at that time. Lieu days must be taken within 90 days of the holiday worked. There is no guarantee you can take the lieu day in the same rotation in which you earned it. The arrangements for a lieu day are done the same as a vacation request (i.e. you should plan in advance).  Please note that lieu days are the only days that can be carried over into the next academic period, subject to the 90-day expiry period.

Lieu day requests relating to a period where the call schedule has already been released require written approval from your attending to the Program Office.

(2) Vacation during the Holiday Period:

Residents are entitled to five (5) consecutive days off during this time period (block 7) and will be asked to choose from a period encompassing either Christmas or New Year. Alternatively, for religious reasons, residents may choose to take their five (5) consecutive days off during a different time, according to their religious observance. In this situation, residents would be required to be on service during both of the two above mentioned holiday periods.

Note: Please be advised that when considering time-off requests Cardiology considers all residents on their service together, combining wards, CSU and consults rotation, in order to avoid compromising patient care responsibilities.



Generally vacation requests are approved on a first-come, first-served basis. However, there are a few considerations and exceptions:

1. For the last week of June priority for time off will be given to PGY3 residents leaving the program for fellowships elsewhere. Consequently, no requests will be processed for this time until after the R4 Medicine Subspecialty match.

2. Housestaff sitting certification for North American examinations may request time to attend the examination over and above the four (4) week vacation entitlement. These requests will be given priority over other requests during this time. Proof of exam registration is required.

3. Vacation/Leave request on CTU: The following guidelines will provide a means to foster a balance between education, patient care, and resident well being:

• The Internal Medicine R2 and R3 on a CTU team may not be away at the same time.

• No more than one R1 per CTU team may take vacation at the same time

• Senior resident and R1 may not be away at the same time

• If you have vacation on CTU you will be assigned one weekend off (fPGY2 residents this will be the weekend your team is NOT on take, for PGY3 this will be the weekend your team IS on take). If you need a specific weekend off on CTU and this conflicts with your team's on call schedule (refer to take schedule) you may be able to request a switch of CTU teams BUT this must be reviewed and approved by the program. Forward planning helps avoid disappointment and ensures service requirements are met. 

Vacation and Educational Objectives:

The Assessment, Promotion, and Appeals Policy posted on the Postgraduate Medical Education Office’s website, (http://meds.queensu.ca/education/postgraduate/policies/apa/assessment) includes section 8.0 that states that: “In order to meet pedagogical requirements, a resident should not miss more than 1/4 of a rotation or horizontal learning experience due to illness, leave, holidays etc.”

In light of this policy, residents are asked to submit vacation requests that comprise the last week of one block and the first week of the next in order to accommodate requests for 2-weeks of vacation. This will also ensure that educational and patient care needs are met. Remember, planning early will also provide you with a higher chance of receiving approval for the time period requested.

Residents who wish to request vacation/leave outside of these guidelines are encouraged to speak to the Program Director as early as possible to review options for accommodating the request.

Switching Call:  

Switching calls is discouraged. However if you have to make a call change with another resident, you need to obtain approval from your respective teams and you must notify the Chief Residents and Claudia Trost, in the Program Office (613 533 6000 ext. 74966, who will inform Switchboard.  Switches on CTU (especially involving primary and secondary take) should be between residents on the same team.

Calling in Sick:

If you need to call in sick you must inform your team and Program Administration immediately. If you are on call that night you are expected to arrange to switch shifts with another resident during that day and notify your team and one of the Chief Residents who will update switchboard and the relevant wards. It is not enough to just email the chiefs that you are sick. You must make every attempt to find someone to take your call. Remember, if you do not hear from the chiefs, it is possible that we have not seen/received your email as we are on service as well and do not check emails frequently throughout the day. Please additionally page one of us through switchboard to discuss your situation with us in the event you cannot find someone to take your call.

Please review the Emergency Leave Policy regarding Emergency Absence.

We encourage residents to be familiar with the PARO-CAHO Agreement: http://myparo.ca/Contract/PARO-CAHO_Agreement