Graduate Training Agreement Contract Overview

Resident Contract Overview


Each Resident/Fellow Physician appointed and receiving training through the UPMC ME must sign a contractual agreement that describes the terms, conditions, obligations and expectations concerning such appointment. The following information provides a summary of significant aspects of that appointment and contractual agreement.  UPMC Systemwide benefits and policies are applicable to all UPMC business units including UPMC ME, and are subject to change from time to time at the discretion of UPMC.  

Appointment Term:  The Resident/Fellow Physician is appointed to the position of Resident/ Fellow of a specific Residency/Fellowship Program of the UPMC ME for the maximum term of one year.   Reappointment is dependent upon Residency/Fellowship Program determination of the Resident/Fellow Physician’s performance during the appointment term as being at least satisfactory.

Policy and Regulatory Compliance:  This appointment is subject to and contingent upon compliance with UPMC and UPMC ME Policies and Procedures, as well as any rules and regulations promulgated under those policies and any applicable federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  Please see the UPMC ME website for more information. 

Residency/Fellowship Program: The UPMC ME will provide a training program consistent with the Program Requirements of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), or similar requirements of the American Osteopathic Association (AOA), the American Dental Association (ADA), the Council on Podiatric Medical Education (CPME) the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP) or the American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) as applicable.


Program Services:  The Resident/Fellow Physician will perform the services required by the training program, under the supervision of the Program Director and Residency/Fellowship Program faculty and at a level of achievement consistent with the standards set by the Residency/Fellowship Program.

Licensure Compliance:  The Resident/Fellow Physician will always act in conformity with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations applicable to the practice of medicine and operation of medical facilities, and all UPMC policies.

Rotation or Educational Experience:  While assigned to a rotation or educational experience at affiliated hospitals or participating sites, the Resident/Fellow Physician will comply with the policies and regulations in effect at the affiliated hospitals, specifically including without limitation HIPAA and other patient confidentiality laws, as well as all UPMC policies.

Medical Records: The Resident/Fellow Physician will complete in a timely fashion the medical records that are his/her responsibility.

Defense of Claims: The Resident/Fellow Physician agrees to cooperate with the investigation and defense by the UPMC ME or its insurance carrier of any incident, claim or lawsuit which may arise in connection with patient care activities taking place during the term of this appointment, whether or not the Resident/Fellow Physician is a named defendant.  In the event that the Resident/Fellow Physician is served with a summons or a subpoena pertaining to the UPMC ME, or any of its affiliated entities or its other respective officers or employers, he/she will promptly notify the UPMC ME Office or the UPMC Risk Management Department. These obligations will survive the expiration or termination of the Resident/Fellow Physician's appointment with UPMC ME.

Separate Employment/Moonlighting: The Resident/Fellow Physician is required to notify his/her Program Director in advance of any proposed employment outside of the UPMC ME Residency/Fellowship Program, and the number of hours devoted to such employment. The Resident/Fellow Physician is prohibited from working additional hours as a physician rendering patient care services elsewhere without prior written approval from his/her Program Director, or if such separate employment would cause him/her to exceed the maximum number of work hours permitted by UPMC ME’s policy on Duty Hours and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) regulation. Any failure to comply with this provision will be deemed a material breach of this Appointment Agreement, and may cause the Resident/Fellow Physician to be subject to disciplinary action.

Pre-employment Responsibilities: The Resident/Fellow Physician must satisfactorily complete a pre-employment test to rule out the use of non-approved substances under applicable UPMC policies and practices supporting a drug and alcohol free work environment. The Resident/Fellow Physician must also satisfactorily complete employment, reference, criminal history, child abuse and other standard UPMC background checks under applicable UPMC policies and practices.


PGY- Financial Support: The Resident/Fellow Physician's annual financial support can be found on the UPMC ME website for the specific PGY appointment each appointment year and will be payable bi-weekly through direct deposit into the Resident/Fellow Physician’s bank account.  If the Resident/Fellow Physician accepts an assignment during which he/she is supported financially or paid by another institution, a grant, or a fellowship, etc., he/she will not receive financial support from the UPMC ME for that period.

Health and Dental Insurance: The Resident/Fellow Physician is eligible for individual or family health insurance programs offered under the UPMC ME group plans. The health insurance benefit begins on the Resident/Fellow Physician’s first recognized day of training in the residency/fellowship program. The Resident/Fellow Physician will pay any applicable premiums by payroll deduction.

Short Term Disability: Benefits are available for a maximum of 26 weeks of total disability during a rolling 12 month period.

Long Term Disability: Long-term disability insurance is available after a disability extends beyond 26 weeks.  The program provides a monthly benefit of 60% of the UPMC base salary, up to a maximum of $15,000 per month.  Maximum benefit amount may vary based on employee classification.  Coverage becomes effective on the first day of the month following employment.

Life Insurance: The Resident/Fellow Physician is provided basic term life and accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance coverage equal to his/her UPMC base annual salary.  (S)he may purchase additional protection for her/himself and eligible family members.

Professional Liability Insurance:  UPMC ME will provide professional “malpractice” liability insurance for authorized services within the teaching programs performed at UPMC ME or at other institutions in which the Resident/Fellow Physician performs services as part of the formal teaching program to which he/she is assigned.  Such insurance shall insure Resident/Fellow Physician for claims arising from clinical events or alleged clinical conduct that occurred during the term of the UPMC ME Postgraduate Training Agreement.  The amounts of such insurance shall, at minimum, meet the statutory requirement of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, but in no event less than $1,000,000 per claim and $3,000,000 annual aggregate.  Where such approved domestic or international rotations occur beyond UPMC system facilities, UPMC operates under the “Home Host” principle where the receiving/home host institution is expected to provide appropriate professional “malpractice” liability insurance coverage for the UPMC ME Resident/Fellow Physician.   Exceptions for justifiable cause will be considered on individual case basis by UPMC ME as part of the rotation review and approval process managed by the UPMC GME Office.

Savings Plan: The Resident/Fellow Physician is permitted to contribute to the Savings Plan on a pretax and/or after-tax basis up to the annual IRS limits.  UPMC ME matches a portion of your contributions. 


The Resident and Fellow Assistance Program (RFAP) provide a confidential resource to Resident/Fellow Physicians who may be experiencing personal problems. The RFAP will help to identify and explore alternative solutions to problems that may be emotional, financial, legal, and marital or substance related.

While on a regularly scheduled 24-hour call at certain hospitals within the UPMC ME, a subsidy for evening meals will be provided along with availability of an on-call room with housecleaning services.   Meal subsidies vary by the individual Hospital/Program Policy. 

Tuition Assistance

The UPMC tuition assistance benefit is available up to a maximum of $5,000 per academic year.  The benefit also provides a tuition assistance at the University of Pittsburgh for dependent children and spouses for first baccalaureate degree only at 50% up to $6,000 maximum/year for dependent children (must be full-time student) and up to $2,000 maximum/year for spouse (full or part-time student).   Please refer to the UPMC Tuition Policy for complete details.


  • AFLAC Personal Accident Expense Plan
  • AFLAC Group Critical Illness
  • Hyatt Legal Services
  • Humana Whole Life Insurance
  • LifeLock Identity Theft Protection


Each Program Director serves as the key resource on specialty board examinations and materials for application and preparation.  Therefore, the Program Director should be contacted by the Resident/Fellow Physician to confirm the effect that a leave of absence, for any reason, will have on their ability to satisfy criteria for completion of the residency or fellowship program and eligibility for specialty board examination.   Resident/Fellow physicians granted leave shall be responsible for making up the leave time in terms of maintaining his or her satisfactory performance and program progression, as determined by the Program Director and documented via the Leave of Absence Attestation Form and/or other supporting written documentation outlining the program extension time.    A leave of absence may result in an extension of the total length of the time required to complete the training program.  All leaves will be processed in accordance with the UPMC ME Policies on Family and Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA), Personal Leave of Absence (PLOA) or Administrative Leave of Absence, as applicable. 

Paid Time Off (PTO)

UPMC ME recognizes the need for Resident/Fellow Physicians to receive paid time off (PTO) for vacation, sickness and professional leave.  In order to ensure the delivery of quality patient care, UPMC ME requires advance scheduling of time off whenever possible.   As each respective Residency/Fellowship Program has specific program requirements for completion of the Residency/Fellowship Program and eligibility for specialty board examinations, the amounts of vacation leave, sick leave and professional leave are determined by each respective Program Director and vary by Residency/Fellowship Program and Department.

Vacation Leave (PTO): The Resident/Fellow Physician may receive up to a maximum of three weeks leave time (21 days, including weekends) per academic year, to be scheduled by agreement with the Program Director.  (varies by department)

Sick Leave (PTO): Sick leave may be arranged at the discretion of the Program Director, in accordance with applicable law.

Professional Leave:  The Resident/Fellow Physician may receive time off to attend a professional conference to be arranged at the discretion of the Program Director.

Family and Medical Leave of Absence: The House Officer is eligible for Family and Medical Leave of Absence (FMLA) as set forth by the Federal government.   All leave requests must be approved by the House Officer's Program Director to ensure all program requirements can be met to satisfy completion of the program.


Residency/Fellowship Program Credit: Credit for completion of the program year and certification of completion of a terminal program year is contingent upon satisfactory performance, in accordance with the requirements of the Resident/Fellow Physician's Residency/Fellowship Program.

Disciplinary Action/Probation Suspension or Termination: The Resident/Fellow Physician may be placed on probation, suspended or have his/her appointment terminated by the UPMC ME, for breach of the terms of this Agreement by the Resident/Fellow Physician.  Any such suspension or termination will be carried out in accordance with UPMC ME procedure.

Grievances Appeals and Discipline: If a Resident/Fellow Physician feels that he/she is being treated in a manner that is inconsistent with the treatment of other Resident/Fellow Physicians, and he/she feels that the matter cannot be resolved within the structure of his/her department, he/she may elect to seek assistance through the UPMC ME Office. 

Physician Impairment and Substance Abuse Education: It is the policy of the UPMC ME that the unlawful manufacture, distribution, sale, dispensing, possession or use of an illegal drug or alcoholic beverage is prohibited in the workplace/classroom. The UPMC ME will provide the Resident/Fellow Physician with an educational program regarding physician impairment, including substance abuse.  Assistance for physicians with substance abuse issues will be made available through the UPMC ME RFAP and the Professional Health Monitoring Programs of the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine.  Under some circumstances, UPMC ME is required by law to report substance abuse to the Pennsylvania State Board of Medicine.

Residency/Fellowship Closure/Reduction: If the UPMC ME should decide to eliminate or reduce the size of any Residency/Fellowship Program, Resident/Fellow Physicians affected by the decision will be so informed prior to the start of the new academic year to the extent possible. The UPMC ME will then make reasonable efforts to allow completion of the current residency/fellowship year and, if practical, the remainder of training as planned.

Sexual Gender Racial and Other Forms of Harassment: Any Resident/Fellow Physician who believes he/she is being harassed by an employee of the UPMC ME, or on UPMC or affiliated hospital or healthcare facility premises, should report such harassment to his/her immediate supervisor or to the UPMC ME Office.  Any person who is found by the UPMC ME to have harassed a Resident/Fellow Physician, employee, student or applicant will be subject to corrective action, up to and including discharge.  The UPMC ME policy on harassment is found at the UPMC ME website.

"With state of the art facilities, countless opportunities to become involved with novel research, and mentors who are experts within their respective fields, UPMC is unparalleled as a training institution. UPMC truly provides a solid foundation of experience and knowledge onto which its residents can build, becoming the future leaders in their fields."

Cory R. Nordman, MD
Diagnostic Radiology
Residency Program


Additional Resources

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