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Graduate Medical Education

Quillen College of Medicine

Housestaff Benefits

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The Wayne G. Basler Center for Physical Activity (CPA) is a 120,000 square foot facility that was built by and operates on student activity fees and is staffed by ETSU student workers. 

 The Basler Center recreational facilities include:

    19,000 square foot weight room - cardio room
    1/8 mile indoor track
    Martial arts training area
    2 Racquetball/squash courts 
    4 Basketball/Volleyball courts 
    Outdoor challenge/ropes course
    Indoor swimming pool with 8 lanes
    Aerobic studio
    Yoga studio
    An indoor and outdoor climbing wall 
    2 outdoor intramural and sport club fields
    Locker rooms
    Casual Care child care service

Additional information may be obtained at: Center for Physical Activity webpage

Residents are eligible to participate in two optional, tax deferred retirement savings plans operated by the State of Tennessee:  a 457 (b) plan and a 401 (k) plan.  Enrollment in of either of these plans is voluntary.  If you choose to participate in either or both of these plans, you will make contributions through regular payroll deductions.  The Resident is responsible for evaluating and selecting a company and for entering into a contractual agreement with that company.  ETSU does not investigate, evaluate, or endorse any of the tax-deferred income investment options.  Residents are not eligible for any matching funds from the State of Tennessee or ETSU.

A comparison of the 457(b) and the 401(k) plans can be found at this website:

Forms for enrollment and additional information can be found on the following website:

All forms should be submitted to the GME office for processing.

Group health insurance is available for residents and their eligible dependents. Term life insurance, Accidental Death and Dismemberment and long term disability are available for the residents only. 

The resident health insurance is provided through United Healthcare.  Residents may elect single coverage or family coverage. Premiums are shared by the university and the resident.  The resident portion is $35.00 for single coverage and $75.00 for family coverage.  The premiums are payroll deducted monthly. 

The resident dental insurance is provided through Guardian Insurance Company.  Residents may elect single coverage or family coverage.  Premiums are shared by the university and the resident.  The resident portion is covered by the Health Insurance premium at the same coverage. If not covered under health insurance premiums are $7.00 for single coverage and $15.00 for family coverage.  If applicable, the premiums are payroll deducted monthly.

A basic life insurance policy is available for each resident in the amount of $50,000. No life insurance is available for dependents. Residents may elect to purchase additional life insurance up to $500,000. Upon termination, residents have the opportunity to convert their life insurance to an individual policy. For additional information on life insurance contact TMA Plan Administrators at (800) 347-1109. 

Individual disability policies with monthly benefits of $1,000, after 90 days of disability are available for the resident only. 

East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine is committed to supporting the Tennessee Medical Foundation and the Physicians Health Program in regards to our faculty, residents and students.

Counseling services will be available to all residents upon their request or the request of the Program Director. Services will address any issue of professional or personal stress that may be encountered during the training experience which might result in deterioration of performance, medical behavioral problems or substance abuse. Services will function within and follow the guidelines set by the Tennessee Medical Foundation, Physicians Health Program.

When a problem with a resident is suspected, the Program Director or Departmental Chair will contact the Tennessee Medical Foundation, Physicians Health Program in Nashville, Tennessee. The Medical Director or the Assistant Medical Director will require an evaluation and the Physicians Health Program will recommend treatment, if indicated. The resident will be under their complete management and may not be considered for reentry into our program until they have been cleared by the Physicians Health Program.

The Office of the Executive Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education should be kept informed as to coordinate leave time and disability benefits.

A leave authorization form must be completed and approved for any type of leave. These must be completed in advance of the leave except for emergency sick leave. Leave request forms are maintained in the residency coordinators office in each program.

Unused vacation and other leave time may not be accumulated to reduce the overall duration of residency expected by the board. Should any leave interfere with the ability of the physician to complete the requirements of their program as scheduled, such requirements must be completed after the projected completion date of their program. 

Residents may receive two (2) days administrative leave during their first year depending on their Program's policy. Residents on tracks longer than one year may receive up to five (5) days administrative leave to be taken anytime during their tenure. 

Educational leave may be provided. This is left totally to the discretion of each program. 

Residents are entitled to the provisions of the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993. This leave is without pay, but use of accrued sick and vacation leave may be used as part of the family leave.

In order to be considered eligible under the FMLA guidelines, a resident must (1) have worked for the University for at least 12 months; and (2) have worked at least 1,250 hours during the year preceding the start of the leave.

Eligible residents may take Family and Medical Leave for the birth of a child and the care of such newborn child; for the placement of a child with the resident for adoption or foster care; for the care of the residents spouse, child or parent who has a serious health condition; or for the residents own serious health condition that prevents him/her from performing the essential functions of his/her position. Residents should be aware that this time will not be counted toward board eligibility. The Program Director and resident will be responsible for establishing a make-up schedule in compliance with the Board requirements of the particular specialty.

If a husband and wife are both residents and are eligible for Family and Medical Leave, the total number of work weeks of leave for birth, adoption, and foster care placement to which both are entitled is limited to 12 work weeks. 

Maternity leave is available to eligible residents for the birth or adoption of a child under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Tennessee Maternity Leave Act (TMLA).
This leave is without pay, but use of accrued sick and annual leave may be used as part of this leave. 

All residents who are members of any reserve component of the armed forces of the United States or of the Tennessee National Guard may be entitled to leave of absence from their duties, without loss of time, pay, regular leave or vacation, impairment of efficiency rating, or any other rights or benefits to which otherwise entitled, for all periods of military service during which they are engaged in the performance of duty or training in the services of this State, or of the United States, under competent orders.

Each resident who is on military leave shall be paid his or her salary or compensation for a period, or periods, not exceeding fifteen (15) working days in any one (1) calendar year, plus such additional days as may result from any call to active State duty pursuant to T.C.A. section 58-1-106. The resident must furnish the University certification from competent military authority of the dates of active duty that was actually performed. 

Sick leave is provided at the rate of one (1) day per month, and may accumulate to a total of not more than sixty (60) days for continuous service. Accumulated sick leave is forfeited if University service is contractually interrupted. Sick leave can only be used for bona fide illness which prevents the performance of professional duties and cannot be used for vacation, educational leave, or other personal purposes. It is the responsibility of the resident to notify the Program Director of illness which prohibits his/her attending to assigned duties. The Program Director has the right to demand verification of any alleged illness by a licensed physician. Residents are not paid for unused sick leave. 

All residents may receive up to 15 days annual leave per contract year.
   Unused vacation days may NOT be carried over from year to year. Residents are not paid for unused annual leave. 
Each Residency Training Program must comply with varying RRC/Board leave policies. Therefore, timing and duration of all annual leave must be approved by that residency Program Director. If institutional policies, noted above, conflict with those of a particular RRC/Board, then the RRC/Board policies will take precedence. 

There are no official holidays. Time off is scheduled at the discretion of the program. 

Residents shall be granted civil leave when, in obedience to a subpoena or direction by proper authority, the resident appears as witness for the federal government, the State of Tennessee, or a political subdivision of the State, or when it is necessary to attend any court in connection with official duties or serve on a jury in any state or federal court.

As a resident physician with East Tennessee State University under the State of Tennessee your professional liability coverage will be provided by the Tennessee Claims Commission Act (TCA 9-8.301 et sq). The limits of liability are $300,000 per plaintiff/$1 million dollars per occurrence. State law provides that residents have absolute immunity from liability for acts or omissions within the scope of their employment, unless the acts or omissions are willful, malicious, criminal, or done for personal gain.

The immunity of residents under Tennessee law has no mandatory effect in the courts of other states. Residents who participate in rotations out of Tennessee must have additional malpractice. Please consult with your residency coordinator when planning an out of state rotation.

If you should receive a summons and complaint naming you or East Tennessee State University as a defendant in a civil lawsuit arising out of your residency with the University, please contact the Office of Graduate Medical Education immediately. Do not discuss the suit with anyone other than the University attorney or the Attorney Generals Office. Do not talk to the plaintiff or the plaintiffs attorney. Refer all requests for documents to the University attorney or the Office of Graduate Medical Education.

The coverage does not extend to any medical practice or activities outside the medical education program of the University (moonlighting). Claims made after termination of training will be covered if based on acts or omissions of the resident within the course and scope of their assignments during training, therefore residents will not need to purchase tail coverage.

Residents working at the VA are covered by the Federal Tort Claims Act during their rotation at the VA.

East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicines Resident Assistance Program (RAP) is a confidential counseling and referral service for East Tennessee State University Medical School residents and their families. The purpose of the program is to encourage self referral so that you can be helped with training issues, personal and marital concerns before they lead to more serious difficulties. The first six visits are free and subsequent visits are covered by resident health insurance with the normal deductible and co-pay applied.

As resident physicians, you should strive to manage professional and personal stress, to maintain your own health and well-being so that you can maximize your ability to provide quality health care to your patients.

Stress is part of everyone's life. It can become overwhelming when it is not managed properly which in turn can lead to physical, mental and spiritual difficulties.

The Resident Assistance Program (RAP) is here to provide you with help in managing stress in both your personal and professional lives through confidential counseling, education, and in some cases medication. This includes assistance with marriages and other relationships.

Below are listed some causes of excessive stress:

-Lack of staff or attending support
-Unresolved bereavement issues
-Too much responsibility
-Culture issues
-Trying to be perfect
-Sexual orientation issues
-Lack of sleep
-Sexual harassment
-Marriage and family issues
-Too many hours on call
-Physical illness
-Both husband and wife are residents
-Excessive anxiety
-Social isolation
-Don't feel part of the residency community
Contact: Phillip Steffey, M.Div., L.C.S.W.
Call:  (423) 854-0342



The purpose of the ETSU RESIDENT SICK LEAVE BANK is to provide emergency paid sick leave to members of the residency program who have suffered an unexpected personal illness, surgery, injury or disability with complications beyond their control and who have exhausted their personal sick leave.

By definition, "unexpected personal illness", does not include recovery following childbirth. Unforeseen complications during pregnancy would be a qualifying event.

The Sick Leave Bank shall be managed by seven (7) Residents, one from each of the respected residencies (Family Medicine, Surgery, Pediatrics, Obstetrics/Gynecology, Pathology, Internal Medicine, and Psychiatry). Each residency program will elect their own representative yearly. Elected resident representatives must be a member of the sick leave bank. The seven (7) Residents will elect a chairperson from among the seven (7) elected resident representatives at their first meeting.

Membership in the Sick Leave Bank will be available to all Residents of the ETSU Quillen College of Medicine. To be eligible for membership, a Resident must have accumulated a minimum of four (4) sick days and agree to contributing assessed sick leave days to the bank. Residents who do not elect membership by agreeing to contribute the assessed number of sick days to the Sick Leave Bank will not be eligible to apply for grants of bank sick leave.

All eligible Residents who elect to participate in the Sick Leave Bank may be assessed up to a maximum of three (3) sick leave days annually by the trustees to be placed in the bank. Sick leave days transferred to the Sick Leave Bank are non-refundable with the following exceptions: the Sick Leave Bank is dissolved due to the membership in the bank falling below twenty (20) participants. Upon dissolution of the bank, the total hours on deposit shall be returned to the participating members at the time of the dissolution and credited to the personal sick leave accumulation in the proportion to the number of days each has been assessed individually.

A bank member may cancel his/her membership at any time by written notification to the trustees. Assessed sick leave days are non-refundable upon cancellation of membership. Effective date of cancellation shall be the date of the written communication from the bank member.

Upon a Resident completing his/her residency, their balance of sick leave days will be removed from the Sick Leave Bank. The effective date for the removal will be July 1.

A bank member shall lose the right to request bank sick leave upon termination of employment, cancellation of bank membership, refusal or inability to honor the trustees assessments, and going on a leave of absence (in a non-pay status) for reasons other than illness, injury or disability

Participants who are granted bank sick leave shall continue to accrue sick leave and annual leave if applicable, during the time they are on bank sick leave. Also, the participants will receive holiday pay during the bank sick leave period as applicable.

Grants of bank sick leave shall not be contingent, upon repayment of hours used or waiver of other employment benefits or rights.

A Resident must have been a member of the bank for thirty (30) calendar days prior to applying for withdrawal of Sick Leave Bank days.

Participants must exhaust all accumulated annual and sick leave prior to receiving bank sick leave.

No grant from the Sick Leave Bank shall be made for periods of leave of four (4) days or less.

Bank sick leave shall not be used for: elective surgery, absence to allow for routine childcare subsequent to childbirth (unforeseen complications during pregnancy would be a qualifying event), illness or death of any member of the Residents family or during any period when the Resident is receiving disability benefits. Participants may be required to provide proof that the above does not apply.

Initial grants of bank sick leave to individual bank members shall not exceed twenty (20) consecutive days for which the applicant would have otherwise lost pay. After receiving twenty (20) consecutive days, requests for an extension, made in writing, may be granted by approval of the trustees. The maximum number of days any participant may receive in any fiscal year is sixty (60) days. The maximum number of days any participant may receive for any one illness is ninety (90) days.

If a bank member is physically or mentally unable to request bank sick leave, or an extension, a family member, or agent for the member may file.

The trustees by a 4/7 vote will approve or reject all requests for bank sick leave within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the request.

All denials of sick bank leave must be accompanied by a letter explaining why the members request was denied.

The decision of the trustees shall not be appealed beyond that body.

All records and official forms of the Sick Leave Bank and minutes of the trustee meetings shall be maintained in the Office of Clinical Affairs. All records shall be subject to audit by administrative officials of East Tennessee State University. All records of the trustees shall remain confidential unless requested access is approved by the 4/7 of the trustees.

Granting of sick bank days does not relieve the Resident from meeting the required number of days for his/her board eligibility. A Resident who accumulates excessive absences for any reason may have to sign a letter of extension for meeting board eligibility. This will be handled by individual program directors/chairpersons.

All eligible Residents will receive notification of the establishment of the plan, dates of initial enrollment period, and copies of the plan and enrollment forms.

The effective date for the East Tennessee State University, James H. Quillen College of Medicine, Sick Leave Bank shall be July 1, 2004.

The annual enrollment period shall be May 1 through June 1.

Currently, all participants in the Sick Leave Bank shall be equally assessed one (1) day (as determined by the committee) as the initial and annual continuing enrollment assessment to be deducted from the individuals personal accumulated sick leave.

Subsequent assessments will be determined annually and shall only be conducted in order to maintain a positive minimum balance in the bank.

Official forms of the Sick Leave Bank:

Enrollment form
Sick Leave Bank request form
Sick Leave Bank notice of assessment.

All requests to draw upon the Sick Leave Bank must be made with all appropriate signatures upon a sick leave request form and submitted to the trustees within thirty (30) calendar days of the first date Sick Leave Bank usage is requested. A physicians statement, verifying the nature of the illness or injury, and the inability of the Resident to work, must accompany the request form. The trustees shall approve or disapprove the application within ten (10) calendar days of receipt of the application.

Upon receipt of a request to draw upon the bank, the trustees will examine the bank members sick leave record. If evidence of abuse exists, the trustees may deny the request.

When acting upon a request, if additional information is necessary in order to approve or disapprove a request, the trustees or their official representative, may contact the attending physician and/or the bank member requesting leave. The Resident requesting the sick leave will provide the appropriate releases for obtaining the information from the physician. Failure to provide such information or release may result in disapproval of the Residents request.

A bank member requesting leave from the Sick Leave Bank will receive a copy of the signed approved/disapproved request form as notification of the trustees action.

Amendments to these guidelines may be made by a majority vote of the trustees and approval of the Sick Leave Bank Committee.

The College of Medicine has set aside $5,000 for tuition reimbursements for residents spouses and eligible dependent children. Reimbursement will be limited to undergraduateclasses at ETSU only and will be on a first-come-first-served basis. Applications are available in the Office of Graduate Medical Education or on the Office of GMEs website. Applications must be completed for each semester and submitted before the semester begins.

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