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A uniform policy on parental leave in radiology training programs is lacking. Although previous publications have addressed the status of parental leave policy among radiology residency programs, the state of parental leave in radiology fellowships has not been addressed to date. Our aim was to determine the state of parental leave policies in American neuroradiology fellowship programs.MATERIALS AND METHODS:
An Internet survey was sent to the directors of neuroradiology fellowship programs listed on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Web site (n = 87) in January 2020. The questionnaire assessed the policies of the fellowship programs and Program Directors’ attitudes toward maternal and paternal leave. Four reminders were sent during the 3 weeks before closing data collection.RESULTS:
The response rate was 76% (66/87). Ninety-four percent (62/66) of program directors claimed to have a maternal leave policy, of which 51/62 (82%) were written and 53/62 (85%) were paid. Additionally, 77% (51/66) had a policy for paternal leave, of which 80% (41/51) were written and 76% (39/51) were paid. The average length of paid leave was 6.7 ± 3.25 weeks for new mothers and 2.9 ± 2 weeks for new fathers. Unpaid leave was mostly based on the Family and Medical Leave Act. Fellows were responsible for making up call duties during the parental leave in 47% of the programs. Radiation exposure was restricted in 89% of the programs during pregnancy. Policies addressed breast feeding and untraditional parenthood in just 41% of the responding programs. Most program directors supported the development of a unified national policy on maternal (83%) and paternal (79%) leave.CONCLUSIONS:
Most neuroradiology fellowship programs have explicit maternal and paternal leave policies that grant paid leave to trainees. Some also offer unpaid leave, mostly through Family and Medical Leave Act guidelines. A uniform policy derived from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and/or American Board of Radiology would be useful and overwhelmingly accepted.