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ABS Announces More Flexible Family Leave Policy for Fellowship-Based Trainees

Jun. 23, 2022 Media Contact: Alyson Maloney, 215-568-4000

The American Board of Surgery (ABS) is pleased to announce a more flexible family leave policy for trainees completing a vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, surgical oncology, or surgical critical care fellowship training program.

The ABS acknowledges the need to take time away from training for certain significant life events.

Effective as of the 2022-2023 academic year and thereafter, as allowed by their programs, vascular surgery, pediatric surgery, complex general surgical oncology, and surgical critical care trainees in fellowship training programs may take documented leave to care for a new child, whether for the birth, the adoption, or placement of a child in foster care; to care for a seriously ill family member (partner, child, or parent); to grieve the loss of a family member (partner, child, or parent); or to recover from the trainee's own serious illness.

Two-Year Fellowship Programs: Vascular Surgery, Pediatric Surgery, and Complex General Surgical Oncology

The ABS requires 48 weeks of full-time clinical activity in each year of training. The remaining four weeks of the year are considered non-clinical time that may be used for any purpose, such as vacation, conferences, interviews, etc.

Trainees may take up to an additional four weeks off during fellowship, for a total of 92 weeks of training while still maintaining admissibility to the ABS initial certification examination process.

One-Year Fellowship Programs: Surgical Critical Care

The ABS requires 48 weeks of full-time clinical activity in the year of surgical critical care training. The remaining four weeks of the year are considered non-clinical time that may be used for any purpose, such as vacation, conferences, interviews, etc.

Surgical critical care trainees may take up to an additional two weeks off during fellowship, for a total of 46 weeks of training. This allows for up to six weeks of leave for significant life events in the year of surgical critical care training while still maintaining admissibility to the ABS initial certification examination process.

Please note that these are ABS policies only and should not be confused with family leave as permitted by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). No approval is needed for these options if taken as outlined. These policies are not retroactive and do not apply to leave taken prior to the 2022-2023 academic year.

For information on additional specialty-specific leave options, please the related leave policy:


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