McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University allows certain observances of religious and secular holidays. Residents and fellows should check with their program offices for program-specific guidelines.
Each program determines housestaff assignments for patient care during holidays. These assignments should be a shared responsibility among all housestaff in the program. The stipend is earned for the holiday regardless of whether or not the housestaff member has been scheduled to work on that day.
Although the practice of religious beliefs, including the observance of religious holidays, is important to many trainees, priority must be given to maintaining adequate patient care. A resident who wishes to observe a religious holiday of short duration (1-2 days) should discuss that request well in advance with the Program Director and try to obtain coverage. Reasonable efforts will be made to honor a resident's request, assuming such request does not impose an unreasonable burden on other residents or on the program. However, any adjustments to a resident's schedule are contingent upon acceptable patient care coverage alternatives and must be cleared with the appropriate training Program Director. The only way to guarantee time away is to schedule vacation time well in advance of the requested holiday, in accordance with the requirements of the program's vacation policy.