Part‑Time Residency Training (Principles and Conditions)

Part-time Residency Training

While in most instances residency training programs will be full-time, a part-time residency program may be necessary or desirable to accommodate family or personal responsibilities, illness, disability or job sharing with a spouse for childcare. It is further understood that residents need to take responsibility for completing their residency training program in a reasonable length of time.

Logistical considerations that may be encountered establishing part-time residency programs include:

  • Scheduling problems for rotations,
  • Incomplete or inconsistent educational experiences,
  • Lack of peer group support,
  • Devolved responsibility to others in the training program,
  • Service needs not met,
  • Financial implications,
  • Lack of commitment of trainee, or
  • Loss of appreciation of continuity of disease process.

This policy statement refers only to the educational implications of part-time residency training. It recognizes the desirability and hopefully facilitates the development of part-time residency programs. However, the financial, salary and contractual implications fall within the jurisdiction of the Maritime Resident Doctors Collective Agreement.

Development of part-time residency programs will be determined on an individual basis and according to what each program can reasonably provide in this regard.


  1. Application for part-time residency training may be considered under special circumstances.
  2. In all cases the regulations of the applicable national college regarding part-time residency will apply.
    - For RCPSC programs, these are outlined in the "Policies and Procedures for Certification and Fellowship", Section IV, 4.3.1 Fractional (Part-time) Residency Training which can be found on the Royal College web site: Fractional residency training must be approved by the RCPSC Credentials Committee [PDF - 292kB].
    - For CFPC programs, there is no formal policy on part-time residency programs. Residents and program directors should ensure that proposed part-time residency programs are acceptable to the applicable national college prior to commencement of a part-time residency.
  3. There may be obligatory full-time rotations mandated as part of the overall residency program since clinical education must include a period of on-call experience.

Conditions for Acceptability of Part-time Residency

  1. Applicants must be acceptable to a program as defined by the regular admission requirements.
  2. Prior approval of the Postgraduate Dean must be obtained for all residents commencing part-time residency training.
  3. The reason for part-time residency must be acceptable to the residency program director, the residency program committee and the Postgraduate office.
  4. The training program designed for a part-time resident must include all components of the residency program. The curriculum will be designed by the program director in consultation with the resident prior to the start of the program and the resident will have a copy prior to commencing the program. The resident will be in agreement with the proposed curriculum.
  5. The program director will certify that the supervision and assessment is equivalent to that of the other residents in the program and the educational experience is equivalent in all other respects to the normal full-time training program.
  6. All part-time residents shall be registered as residents in training but will receive credit only for the fraction of training for which they are registered.
  7. Approval of the appropriate accrediting national college must be obtained in advance for the part-time component of the residency program.
  8. Part-time residency training may continue for a trainee if satisfactory progress is made throughout the program. Residents may be required to undertake a period of full-time training if progress as a part-time resident is considered to be unsatisfactory by the residency program committee at any time.
  9. If there is disagreement between the resident and the program, either party may appeal to the Postgraduate Dean.

Nova Scotia Health Authority Employment Guidelines for Part-time Training

The academic year is broken into 13 rotations of 28 days each = 364 days OR 12 calendar month rotations.

Vacation and Part-time

Vacation entitlement for a full time resident is 4 weeks /year or 20 weekdays.

A resident earns an entitlement of 1.54 days vacation for each full time 28-day rotation.


A resident earns an entitlement of 1.67 days for each calendar month. 

Example: If a resident is a 60% FTE scheduled into 28 day rotations, then they would earn 0.6 X 1.54 = 0.924 days vacation during that rotation. 
e.g. a 60% resident would be entitled to 12 vacation days per year.
This can be calculated by one of 2 methods: 20X .6 = 12 or 
0.924 X 13 = 12

If a resident varies between percentages of full time equivalencies then use monthly calculations and sum the total to calculate the annual vacation entitlement.

Leave of Absence and Vacation

It is the responsibility of the Program Director to both approve and track vacation taken each year. According to Article 19.03 of the Collective Agreement, a resident who is unable to take his/her full vacation entitlement in one academic year may carry over a maximum of two weeks vacation into the next academic year subject to the agreement of the resident and the resident’s own Program Director. 

Paid leaves of absences do not affect vacation entitlement.

During unpaid leave of absences; e.g. maternity / paternity leave, the resident does not earn vacation credit during the time that they are off on unpaid leave. Vacation entitlement should be prorated for the months worked. 
A. If a full time resident takes a 3-month unpaid leave of absence during an academic year they are then entitled to 3 weeks vacation for that year. 
B. If a 60% resident takes a 3-month unpaid leave of absence during an academic year, they would be entitled to 9 vacation days for that year.

Call and Part Time

Full time residents are expected to take call up to a maximum of 1:4 ratio. During a 28 day rotation a full time resident would do 7 call nights. Call should be prorated to the percentage equivalency of a part time resident.

Example: A 60% FTE resident would be expected to do 7X .6 = 4.2 call shifts each 28-day rotation block. 

Note: According to Article 17.01(a) call can be spread pro-rata over the length of the rotation up to a three-month schedule. 

Example: A 60% FTE resident is assigned to a three-month rotation. Instead of calculating 3 months call at 4.2 shifts per month, the call can then be spread over the three months, as long as all other components of Article 17 are adhered to.
e.g. 92 days /4 = 23 calls over the 3 months x 60% =13.8 calls

Switching Back and Forth Between Full Time and Part Time (to be defined)

It is recognized that some rotations must be completed full time. However, the payroll system is bi-weekly and not geared to easily accommodate switches on a weekly or monthly basis. 
We need to work on an acceptable guideline for this situation which would accommodate payroll, postgraduate and Royal College concerns. 

A concern would be that a resident not be paid at a higher percentage than they are actually working i.e. averaged out over the year or program. 

An example would be 6 months at 100% and 6 months at 60% - if the resident is paid at 80% for the year but the first 6 months worked are 60% then they have been overpaid if they leave during or after the first 6 months. Then if they leave the program or reduce their percentage, the potential exists for them to owe monies, which are very difficult to recover.

Dalhousie University Tuition Guidelines

Regardless of the percentage of training a resident will do within an academic year, they will pay full tuition fees. The trainee in question will only pay fees for the duration of the program at 100% training. For example, Family Medicine is a 2-year program at full time. A part-time student will pay full-time fees for 2 years and fees for any remaining portion of training time will be waived for all additional training periods.