Participation in scientific activities, within the framework of the university training program, shall be given priority over any other activity of the resident, except when he is required to deliver emergency care to patients under his responsibility.
There is an important principle here, reflecting medical residents’ very special status. Between the status of salaried employee of the establishment and that of postgraduate completing his medical education, the latter status must take precedence. Priority must be given to scientific activities over any other residency-related activity, except for the very specific case of delivering emergency care to the “patients under his responsibility.”
In other words, the leave and release provided for in this chapter must respect the primacy of the status of learner over that of professional responsible for clinical activities. In that regard, the exception of emergency care cannot be used to justify the denial of leave requested in advance on the grounds that it could lead to gaps in department or service coverage. It is the responsibility of the training sites to organize services while taking this reality into account.
Any resident shall have the right to attend, without loss of salary, one or more medical or scientific conferences related to competencies to be acquired in the specialty program, up to a total of ten (10) days per year until June 30, 2018 and seven (7) days per year.
Notification to the establishment
Except where a shorter notification period is agreed upon with the establishment, the resident shall give the establishment at least thirty (30) days’ notice of the location and nature of the conference.
When the resident takes part in a medical or scientific conference at the express request of the establishment, he shall be entitled, in addition to his salary, to reimbursement of his registration fees and his travel and living expenses, in accordance with the standards in effect at the Ministry of Health and Social Services. Any application for reimbursement shall be submitted within ninety (90) days following the end of the said conference.
Carry-over of unused conference days
The resident may carry forward to the following year any conference days unused as at June 30 each year, up to a total of five (5) days per year. Nevertheless, conference days thus carried forward may not be converted to monetary compensation.
In the last negotiations, three days’ conference leave were transferred to the study leave bank. So, effective July 1, 2018, the number of conference days is seven. But the number of days that can be transferred to the following year remains unchanged at five. If they are not taken the following year, though, they are lost and cannot be taken in monetary compensation.
If you attend a conference at the express request of the establishment, you must make your application for reimbursement for that conference to the establishment within 90 days, generally to your establishment’s Teaching Office.
The establishment may not refuse your request for release to attend a conference, unless your application was sent in late. Moreover, the only grounds whereon the establishment may deny a conference application would be the requirement to deliver emergency care, and that is difficult, if not impossible, to justify since the conference application has to be submitted 30 days in advance.
In that regard, participation in scientific activities takes priority over any of residents’ other activities. Also, the CanMEDS roles applied by the RCPSC and CFPC constitute a broad range of competencies which set value in particular on interdisciplinary work, and enable residents to take part in the conference of their choice.
Finally, the leave bank is renewed on July 1 each year. But if you do not perform a complete year in residency, your conference leave will be prorated to days worked.
Release for examination
The establishment shall release, without loss of or reduction in salary, the resident who sits an examination or examinations to obtain a diploma, licence or certificate. The establishment shall also release, without loss of or reduction in salary, the resident who attends the mandatory ALDO-Quebec training delivered by the Collège.
If this examination session is held more than one hundred and fifty (150) kilometres and less than two hundred and forty (240) kilometres from his rotation site, the resident shall benefit from one additional half day for travel purposes. If this examination session is held more than two hundred and forty (240) kilometres from his rotation site, the resident shall benefit from one additional day for travel purposes.
You are released with pay to travel to your exams and to attend the ALDO-Quebec training activity on the legal, ethical and organizational aspects of medicine in Quebec, without having to deduct this day or these days from your study leave or conference days provided for respectively in Articles 13.02 and 13.05. No maximum number of days per year is stipulated for this article.
Also, if the exam is held more than 150 kilometres and less than 240 kilometres from your rotation site, you are entitled to an additional half day’s paid leave to travel to your exam venue and back to your rotation site. If, however, the exam is held more than 240 km from your rotation site, you are entitled to an additional 1 day’s paid leave for travelling to and from the exam venue.
Thus, for the RCPSC and CFPC exams in Ottawa, Montreal region residents will be entitled to a half day for travel, while residents from most other Quebec regions, including Quebec City and Sherbrooke, will be entitled to 1 day for travelling to and from the exam venue.
Related to this topic
Release for BCLS, ACLS, ATLS, APLS, NPLS, GESTA or alarm session
The establishment shall release, without loss of or reduction in salary, the resident who attends a specialized study session or an examination or examinations in order to obtain one or more of the following certificates:
- Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS);
- Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS);
- Advanced Traumatic Life Support (ATLS);
- Advanced Pediatric Life Support (APLS);
- Neo Natal Paediatric Life Support (NPLS);
- Advances in Labour and Risk Management (ALARM).
The establishment shall pay, on the resident’s behalf, upon submission of supporting documents, the cost of registration and examinations for these sessions. Any request for reimbursement shall be submitted within ninety (90) days following the holding of the training.
Such a specialized study session or such an examination session may be retaken if the targeted certification expires prior to the end of the resident’s residency, and if such a retake is necessary in order to maintain the validity of the certification during residency.
The collective agreement stipulates that you may attend, without loss of salary, one of the specialized study sessions provided for in this article, if you ask to do so.
Registration and exam fees for these sessions are reimbursed by the employer. So, in order to receive reimbursement for them, you must provide the establishment—generally the Teaching Office—with the relevant supporting documents, within 90 days of the training session. The reimbursement will be added to your paycheque.
You may retake and be reimbursed for the courses provided for in this article if your certification expires during residency and the retake is necessary to maintain the validity of your certification until the end of your residency.
Each year, the establishment shall grant the resident leave with pay for seven (7) working days until June 30, 2018 and ten (10) working days effective July 1, 2018, to prepare for a mandatory examination or examinations leading to a diploma, licence or certificate.
Carry-over of unused study days
The resident may carry forward to the following year seven (7) days’ study leave unused as at June 30 of each year. Nevertheless, study leave thus carried forward may not be converted to monetary compensation.
Effective July 1, 2018, all residents are entitled to 10 days’ leave per year insofar as they have to prepare for mandatory exams leading to a diploma, licence or certificate, such as the exams of the Collège des médecins du Québec, College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC), or their faculty.
The leave bank is renewed on July 1 each year. If, however, you do not complete a full year of residency, your leave will be prorated to days worked. We stress that the exam in question does not have to be held within a specific timeframe for you to be able to take your study leave. The old timeframe of two years from the exam was abolished in the last negotiations. So a first-year medical resident in psychiatry, for instance, may take his study leave citing his RCPSC certification exams that will be held at the end of his five-year residency.
It is important to stress that you are entitled to 10 days’ leave per year, and not 10 days per exam. In addition, it is possible to defer 7 days’ unused leave to the following year. But if they are not then taken the following year, they are lost and cannot be taken in monetary compensation.
Finally, you are released for the exam days themselves under Article 13.03.
Release for pedagogical committees
The establishment shall grant the resident who so requests leave with pay in order to take part in the activities of the pedagogical committees of medical faculties, the Collège, the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, the College of Family Physicians of Canada, the Medical Council of Canada, the Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada, the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada and the Quebec College of Family Physicians.
This type of release sometimes presents a problem in certain settings, whereas it is central to residency-related pedagogical activities. Should you have difficulty having such release time recognized, feel free to get in touch with the Federation.
The library shall be accessible to the resident at all times for consultation of reference material on the premises, including, where available, on-site access without charge to university bibliographical resources via the Internet.
Rotation outside Quebec
The establishment shall grant leave with pay to the resident who so requests to perform a rotation approved by the Collège at an unaccredited site outside Quebec.
This rotation of maximum duration of sixty (60) days for the resident registered in family medicine and one hundred and eighty (180) days for the resident registered in a specialty shall be previously recommended by the university authorities and approved by the Collège so as to enable the medical resident to acquire elective skills that are not very or not at all available in Quebec. Notwithstanding the foregoing, and following approval by the university authorities, the resident may, once during his residency, perform a rotation of a maximum of one (1) month in family medicine or three (3) months in a specialty, in order to acquire any other elective competency.
The resident shall submit the Collège‘s approval to the establishment and give the establishment notice of at least thirty (30) days, except where there is an agreement for a shorter timeframe.
Travel, accommodation and living expenses
Furthermore, when he performs such a rotation, the resident may not receive reimbursement of his travel, accommodation and living expenses out of the amounts set forth in Article 19.05.
Assessment and remuneration procedure
Within the framework of his postgraduate education, it is possible for a resident who so wishes to perform a rotation outside Quebec. In most cases, these rotations can be credited in the candidate’s academic file.
The Agreement provides for a maximum of two months’ rotation in family medicine, and six months’ rotation in any other specialty. The Agreement stipulates that half of these months of rotation (one month in family medicine, and three months in other specialties) must meet the condition of being “not very or not at all available” in Quebec to be paid, whereas the other half of these months of rotation merely have to be elective rotations which meet the objectives of your program.
To be entitled to any such rotation, you will have to complete the Collège form entitled “Request for a rotation in a non accredited site, Quebec and outside Quebec” jointly with your program director. The latter determines whether the rotation is compatible with the current training program and, if necessary, evaluates the rotation to determine whether this rotation is “not very or not at all” available in Quebec. The program director then sends the form to the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Medical Education, who approves it before forwarding it to the Collège for approval. The form should be forwarded to the Collège at least 90 days before the rotation begins. It is the Collège that must ensure that the rotation can be recognized within the framework of the resident’s training.
Rotation outside Quebec “not very or not at all available in Quebec”
Note that the following criteria will be used to evaluate the rotation requested for rotations “not very or not at all available in Quebec”:
- The medical expertise is not available in Quebec. Reference is made here to new technology or procedures. Recognizing this rotation ensures the transmission of knowledge, because the resident will then, on his return, have the opportunity to train his colleagues and staff physicians.
- The rotation objectives are different from Quebec’s. The objectives of some rotations outside Quebec are different from those of their Quebec “equivalent.” This analysis is conducted on the basis of the training program, as well as of the objectives established by the RCPSC or CFPC and the Collège for the said program and training level. Let us take the example of a traumatology rotation performed outside Quebec. Traumatology rotations in Quebec are adequate, according to the Collège, for family medicine and as introductory rotations for all other specialties. But residents registered in certain programs—general surgery, emergency (5 years), 3rd year of emergency in family medicine—have to meet more advanced traumatology objectives, and this justifies a rotation in a very high-volume setting.
- The lack of resources justifies the fact that residents have to perform rotations outside Quebec. For instance, it has happened that there were insufficient places in certain rotations, so it was agreed that a resident could perform this rotation outside the province.
Rotations outside Quebec for any other elective competency
For rotations outside Quebec to acquire any other elective competency, there are no specific criteria. These rotations have to meet your training program’s objectives.
So it is essential to define clearly both the objectives of the rotation outside Quebec and the reasons justifying it, particularly concerning the fact that it is “not very or not at all available” in Quebec, so as to provide your university and the Collège with all the relevant elements for reviewing your application.
Travel expenses outside Quebec
No travel, accommodation or living expenses can be granted for a rotation outside Quebec.
Professional liability insurance outside Quebec
Also, you are required to declare your rotation outside Quebec to the DARSSS (Health and social services network insurance branch) to maintain your malpractice insurance coverage provided for in Article 29 of the collective agreement. This insurance covers medial residents worldwide, except where no insurer can provide guarantees as a result of sanctions, prohibitions or restrictions in connection with a Government of Canada statute or regulation.
So you must send the documents listed below to the DARSSS in order to obtain proof of insurance:
- a copy of your training card issued by the Collège;
- a copy of the “Request for a rotation in a non accredited site, Quebec and outside Quebec” form duly approved by the competent authorities in your university and the Collège.
Everything must be sent to email@example.com. If, however, you need further information, you may also call the DARSSS at 514 282-4254.
The establishment shall pay, on the resident’s behalf, the tuition fees charged by the university in which the resident is registered that exceed seven hundred dollars ($700).
The maximum amount of tuition fees you have to pay is $700. This way, the amount of tuition fees for residents remains fixed. Note that, even if the university raises its “associated fees,” you never have to pay more than $700. On the other hand, some of these “associated fees” are subject to an opting-out procedure. In that case, if you do not opt out within the deadline, you will have to pay the fees over and above the $700 limit. It will be your responsibility to opt out of those fees.
The establishment shall pay the resident called upon, in the course of a year, to carry out teaching duties, in addition to his salary and at the end of each twenty-eight (28) day period, the teaching responsibility premium appearing in Appendix I.
The teaching responsibility premium is payable to any resident called upon to teach during a year, i.e., all residents. The premium covers a 28-day period.
It is $235 as of April 1, 2018.
Residents receive the full premium during all leave paid for by the employer and provided for in the Agreement. But medical residents do not receive the teaching premium while on unpaid leave or sick leave (from the 6th day onward).
Study Leave, Conference Leave, and Vacation: What You Are Entitled to
The banks of vacation, study leave, release for conferences, or sick leave are granted on July 1 each year. If you do not complete a full academic year, your various types of leave and release will be prorated to time worked. So this is what you are entitled to each year:
- 10 days’ study leave
- 20 days’ vacation
- 7 days’ release for conferences
- 21 weeks’ maternity leave
- 6 weeks’ paternity leave
- 29 weeks’ parental leave paid by QPIP
- 9.6 days’ sick leave
- Short- and long-term salary insurance