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A look at paid time off for hospitalists

Keywords: Poll results show wide variation in paid time off for hospitalists

Published in the March 2009 issue of Today's Hospitalist

WHILE PAID TIME OFF is a fairly common benefit for U.S. physicians, that’s not always the case for hospitalists. The 2008 Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey found that almost half of hospitalists receive no formal paid days off and are scheduling vacations during their regularly scheduled time off.

Here’s a look at hospitalists’ time-off picture.

Q: How many paid days off do you receive a year?

A: Hospitalists report receiving a mean of 12.56 days per year, but there’s tremendous variation within that figure. Just slightly under half (43%) receive no paid vacation days, for example. However, more than 25% get more than three weeks of paid time off:

None; fit vacation into scheduled days off: 43.2%;
One week: 3.0%
Two weeks: 10.6%
Three weeks: 17.6%
More: 25.6%
Mean: 12.56 days

Paid time off is slightly higher for hospitalists who treat pediatric patients (14.77 days per year) compared to hospitalists who treat adult patients (12.31 days per year).

And hospitalists who see relatively few patients tend to get more paid time off than their colleagues. Hospitalists who see less than 10 patients per shift, for example, said they get 16 paid days off per year, compared to 8.25 days off for hospitalists who see more than 21 patients a shift.

There are also important differences in paid time off based on the type of schedule that hospitalists work. Physicians who work shifts only, for example, reported receiving 10 paid days a year, while hospitalists who work shifts plus some call said they get 12.12 days off. Hospitalists who work a daytime shift and take call receive the best vacation package, with 17.81 days off a year.

Want more details?

YOU’LL FIND MORE INFORMATION about hospitalists—and more than 100 charts—from the latest Today’s Hospitalist Compensation & Career Survey online. Look for the link near the upper left side of the home page at

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