Leave of Absence Guidelines
The following guidelines are designed to assist program directors in their determination of the adequacy of the clinical training of residents and to assure satisfaction of the eligibility requirements for certification by the American Board of Dermatology. Of special concern are those residents on the special investigative/academic track or those residents whose training experience differs from the standard 36 months of fulltime clinical training, as approved for each program by the Residency Review Committee of the ACGME:
1. In general, high priority should be given to completing 36 continuous months of fulltime dermatology training. For most residents, this will consist of full-time clinical training; for residents with a primary commitment to investigative or academic dermatology, this may be a special training track.
2. Any departure from (1), for example time lost for a medical leave of absence, should be documented and fully justified in the resident evaluation forms filed annually by the training program director with the Board.
3. An absence exceeding six weeks (30 weekdays) in any one academic year or a total of 14 weeks (70 weekdays) over three years, including vacation, should be approved only under truly exceptional circumstances. In addition, any resident approved to sit for the certifying examination despite such an absence should have completed each year of training in an above average or excellent manner as recorded on the annual residency evaluation forms.
4. Any resident who has been absent more than six weeks (30 weekdays) in one year or 14 weeks (70 weekdays) over three years, including vacation, and whose performance has not been uniformly above average or excellent throughout residency training should be required to complete an additional period of training at least equal in length to the total period of absence in excess of routinely provided total vacation time. If the program director anticipates that this additional training will be completed in a satisfactory manner before September 1, a letter may be submitted to the Board requesting approval for the resident to sit for the July Certifying Examination. The letter must indicate the training period's anticipated completion date. The resident will not receive exam results or a certificate until the program director completes the annual evaluation at the conclusion of the extended training period.