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Speaking to your Program Director

Deciding when/how to discuss this important topic with your program director can be challenging. Here are some tips and considerations! 

Specific Considerations

Examining an X-Ray

Lighter Rotations

Think about which years you may have lighter rotations. This may be important to you to arrange during pregnancy (if female) or upon return to work as a parent. Some people have shared that they may worry about their health or the baby's health (hence wanting lighter rotations during pregnancy) OR worry about having the maximum experience before starting as an independent physician.

Old-Fashioned Clock

When to Notify

You must share your leave plans 4 weeks before your expected date of leave. However, many residents prefer to give notice earlier, often after 12 weeks GA, in order to plan their rotations and allow for appropriate call scheduling.

Graduation Ceremony

Waiver of Training

While in general, you need to make up all the time that you took off, you may be eligible for a waiver of training. There are specific Royal College guidelines for the waiver of training length. Discuss your eligibility directly with your program director.

MRI Scans

Specific Rotations

If there are specific concerns during pregnancy (i.e.fluoroscopy), you can discuss with your program & occupational health what the lowest risk setting may be for you and whether another rotation could be considered


Length of Leave

Deciding how long your leave will be may depend on whether your partner is able/willing to take leave, childcare considerations, and/or fellowship plans.

Hands Up

Further Discussions

If you aren't comfortable reaching out to your program director initially and need a sounding board, consider contacting your school's wellness program, a mentor and/or your provincial association for further advice.

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