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Psychiatry Residency Training Program
  Applicants Department GME Office Home School of Medicine UW UWHA

Residency Policies & Procedures
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Coverage During Absences (Vacation, Sick Leave, etc.)

A. Absence of the Attending

  1. A covering Attending will be designated.
  2. The covering Attending functions more in a consultant role; if the regular Attending’s absence is of short duration (less than one week), the covering Attending should see the new patients, review the treatment plans, and be available for spot problem solving.
  3. For longer absences (in excess of two weeks), the covering Attending should become more closely familiar with the patients and the unit, and take on the full responsibilities described above.

B. Absence of the Resident

  1. No vacation can be taken in the last week of June or the first week of July.  Resident vacations may not overlap for residents on one service.  Residents may not take vacations during prolonged absence of their Attendings.
  2. Vacations need to be arranged in advance with the Attending (to rule out Attending absence), the Chief Resident (to rule out overlap), and the Psychiatry Residency Program.  Residents will arrange their vacation plans as early as possible, and submit the proper form to the residency office, no later than 30 days in advance of vacation leave.
  3. Residents will attempt to (a) schedule vacations after the medical students have been on the service for a few weeks, (b) “load their teams up” with patients before going on vacation, thus avoiding too many new admissions during their absence, and (c) avoid “team-of-the-week” assignment during the vacation time, etc.
  4. Within reason, Attendings can agree for the team of the absent Resident to be smaller in size.
  5. New admissions:  Day-time admissions should go to the non-vacationing Resident’s teams.  The absent Resident’s team should take admissions at night-time, and on weekends, with work-ups provided by the on-call Resident.  In the unusual circumstance that a daytime admission needs to go to the absent Resident’s team, the Attending should consider letting the medical student work the patient up under his/her supervision.
  6. Day-to-day management of the absent Resident’s patients will be done by the Attending.  However, another Resident (called the “back-up Resident”) will be available for emergency consultation to the medical student, to answer general questions from the students, and the nursing staff, to cosign non-critical orders, and to provide emergency care (especially medical care).  These activities are done in a spirit of positive collaboration.
  7. The “back-up Resident”, and the Attending of the absent Resident, are asked to communicate coverage problems to the Residency Training Director.  If an Attending feels that the back-up Resident is unresponsive to reasonable requests, or if the Resident feels “dumped upon” by the Attending, they should call the Training Director, and give a brief description of the incident.
  8. The Attending will supervise the medical student, and give clear guidelines with regard to daily orders and progress notes.  The medical student will report to the Attending.
  9. Who is the “back-up Resident”?  The back-up Resident will be the Resident of the “other” team on the unit; alternatively, a rotating system of back-up Resident assignment is to be worked out by the Assistant Training Director and the Chief Resident.
  10. If sick leave is anticipated to be more than two days, a “back-up Resident” will be assigned to help out as in the case of vacation.
  11. Residents on non-inpatient assignments (E/R, consultation-liaison) cannot be asked to function as back-up Resident


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Psychiatry Residency Training Program
1959 NE Pacific Street, Box 356560
Seattle, WA 98195-6560