Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University McGaw
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Policies and Procedures

Be informed about policies that guide and protect McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, trainees, and program staff.

 COVID-19 Vaccination

All housestaff members are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have received approval for an exception, as described below.  Fully vaccinated means that (1) two weeks have passed after receiving the second dose in a two-dose series of a COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or (2) two weeks after receiving a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine authorized for emergency use, licensed, or otherwise approved by the FDA. Additionally, all housestaff members must receive a COVID-19 booster as outlined below.

The deadline for receiving the first dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series or a single dose vaccine was September 19, 2021, and the deadline for receiving the second dose in a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine series within 30 days after the first dose (no later than October 19, 2021). The deadline for receiving a COVID booster is January 30, 2022 or 30 days after becoming eligible; whichever is laterIt is the trainee’s responsibility to upload their COVID vaccination status into the NMI system by the above deadlines. 

To establish that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, housestaff members must provide proof of full vaccination against COVID-19 to McGaw. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination may be met by providing one of the following: (1) a CDC COVID-19 vaccination record card or photograph of the card; (2) documentation of vaccination from a health care provider or electronic health record; or (3) state immunization records.

Beginning on September 20, 2021, any housestaff members who are not yet fully vaccinated or who are eligible for an exception will be required to get tested for COVID-19 on at least a weekly basis.  Such testing must be done using a test that either has Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA or is being operated per the Laboratory Developed Test requirements by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. In addition, such testing must be conducted on-site at a relevant training site, if available, or the housestaff member will be responsible for providing proof or confirmation of a negative test result obtained elsewhere.  Housestaff members are required to be tested using a PCR test if available.

Failure to comply with these requirement may result in disciplinary action including possible suspension or termination.


Housestaff members may request an exception to the vaccination requirement due to a documented medical contraindication. These exceptions should be submitted through this request form. Housestaff members requesting an exception are required to provide supporting documentation outlining why their personal health prevents them from obtaining a vaccine. This documentation will require a letter documenting the contraindication from a licensed medical provider as well clarifying if another form of the vaccine might be indicated. Housestaff members who receive a vaccination exception will be required to participate in increased levels of COVID-19 testing (at least weekly) and other protocols as deemed appropriate by McGaw and/or relevant training sites.  Exception requests should be submitted to Nancy Parlapiano via no later than September 24, 2021 to allow time for McGaw to consider the request and render a decision.

Reporting Deadline

Housestaff members not able to meet the requirement prior to arriving at McGaw (such as international housestaff members) will need to apply for an exception, submit to weekly testing, and comply with any other applicable training site policies or requirements in order to be eligible to start their training. Housestaff members who have not submitted proof of full vaccination or been approved for an exception by October 1, 2021 will not be able to participate in training or other activities.

 Internationally Funded Training

Training funded by external entities including foreign governments may represent an opportunity to train future regional and/or international thought leaders.  FULL POLICY

 Leaves of Absence

Any of the permissible leaves of absence are outlined on the Time Away from Training page under Benefits and Resources.


The McGaw Letter of Agreement does not include any non-competition limitations or requirements. FULL POLICY 

 Off-Cycle and Part Time Training

Training at McGaw is to be on-cycle (July-June) and full time with only extraordinary extenuating circumstances being considered for exception. FULL POLICY

 Probation, Suspension, Non-Renewal, Non-Promotion, and Dismissal (Separation)

The purpose of this policy is to establish uniform expectations and procedures regarding trainee probation, suspension, non-renewal, non-promotion, and dismissal. FULL POLICY

 Program Closure or Reduction in Complement

If a program is considering a reduction in complement or closure of a training program, the Program Director will inform the DIO and the Graduate Medical Education Committee will review and approve the decision. FULL POLICY

 Promotion and Renewal

The purpose of this policy is to establish uniform expectations and procedures regarding trainee promotion and appointment renewal. FULL POLICY

 Recruitment, Selection, Eligibility, and Appointment of Trainees

Programs must engage in practices that focus on mission-driven, ongoing, systematic recruitment and retention of a diverse and inclusive workforce of trainees. FULL POLICY

 Substantial Disruptions in Patient Care or Education

A disaster is considered an event or set of events including natural or other, causing significant and prolonged alterations to the training experience for one or more McGaw training programs. FULL POLICY


Telemedicine can represent an excellent learning opportunity for trainees. The possibility for a service-over-educational imbalance does exist. FULL POLICY

 Trainee File Requirements

The GME office strongly requests all programs to have their trainee files organized. FULL POLICY

 Trainee File Retention

Along with the ACGME, we recommend holding the full file for at least seven years from the trainees completion of training or separation. FULL POLICY

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