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AAP Endorses Parental Leave for Pediatric Residents

At a minimum, policy benefits should conform with Family Medical Leave Act and state laws

TUESDAY, Jan. 29 (HealthDay News) -- The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) advocates that all interns, residents, and fellows should have parental leave benefits consistent with the Family Medical Leave Act during pediatric training, according to a policy statement published online Jan. 28 in Pediatrics.

Jill J. Fussell, M.D., along with colleagues from the AAP's Section on Medical Students, Residents, and Fellowship Trainees and the Committee on Early Childhood, reviewed the parental leave policies that are in place for residency programs.

According to the report, each residency program should have an easily-accessible written policy, delineating the practices regarding parental leave. The parental leave policies should conform legally to the Family Medical Leave Act and state laws, and should meet the institutional requirements of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education for accredited programs. Residents who become parents, regardless of gender, should be guaranteed a minimum of six to eight weeks of parental leave with pay after the infant's birth. The resident should also be allowed to extend the leave time when necessary by using paid vacation time or leave without pay, consistent with federal law. The same amount of paid leave (six to eight weeks) should be granted to residents, regardless of gender, who are co-parenting, adopting, or fostering a child.

"The AAP is committed to the development of rational, equitable, and effective parental leave policies that are sensitive to the needs of pediatric residents, families, and developing infants and that enable parents to spend adequate and good-quality time with their young children," the authors write.

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