Physician Vacation and Staffing

February 1, 2006

I'm a solo physician. I try to encourage my staff to coordinate their vacations with mine. Otherwise I end up paying their salaries during my vacation, even though there is no revenue coming in and they don't even have to report to work. Still, they usually take vacation whenever they want. Is there anything I can do?

Question: I'm a solo physician. I try to encourage my staff to coordinate their vacations with mine. Otherwise I end up paying their salaries during my vacation, even though there is no revenue coming in and they don't even have to report to work. Still, they usually take vacation whenever they want. Is there anything I can do?

Answer: You really can't do much in the way of forcing staff to take vacation when you do. They need to respect the needs of their families and their own schedules. One thing you can do is ask your staff to report to work when you are gone. They can work together on the sorts of tasks that usually don't get done when everyone is dealing with the day-to-day patient flow. For example, they might put the medical records in fresh, better-organized folders, repaint the staff room, organize the supply closet, or research technology purchases.