REG 05.20.36 - College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) House Officers

Authority: Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor

History:  First Issued:  August 9, 2011.

Related Policies:
Family Medical Leave

NCSU REG04.20.07 - Adverse Weather and Other Emergency Conditions
NCSU POL04.25.05 - Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Policy Statement
NCSU POL10.00.02 - Research Policy
NCSU REG01.25.01 - Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment
NCSU REG04.25.06 - Discrimination and Harassment Prevention and Response Training
NCSU REG05.00.01 - New Employee Orientation
NCSU REG05.00.02 - Reasonable Accommodations in Employment
NCSU REG05.15.01 - Procedures for Establishing EPA Positions
NCSU REG05.35.01 - Mediation Procedure for Faculty and Staff
NCSU REG10.10.08 - Postdoctoral Scholars

Additional References:
Office of Postdoctoral Affairs (OPA)
NCGS § 126 - State Personnel System
Postdoc Health Insurance
International Employment
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
UNC Voluntary 403b Program
NCSU Benefits Office
NC Deferred Compensation Plan (457)
Appendix 1.0 - House Officer - Offer Letter
Appointment Addendum - House Officer

Contact Info:  Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services (919-513-6211)


1.  INTRODUCTION

1.1  The College of Veterinary Medicine (CVM) at North Carolina State University (NC State) provides for house officers to be appointed to positions within the CVM.  House Officers include interns or residents that are part of post-Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree clinical training programs.  House Officers gain important training and research experience through their relationship with NC State in ways that support and fulfill the research and scholarship missions of the institution.  House Officers receive training, through an apprenticeship model, under the supervision of a faculty member who serves as an advisor and chair of the Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs (FCHOP).  House Officer appointments are viewed as preparatory for full-time careers in general veterinary practices, specialty veterinary referral centers, institutional, industrial or public practice.  This regulation describes the terms and conditions of House Officer appointments.

1.2  Although CVM House Officer appointments are classified as having postdoctoral status, other postdoctoral scholars (NCSU REG10.10.08 - Postdoctoral Scholars) are not covered by this regulation.

2.  GENERAL PROVISIONS FOR APPOINTMENT TO A HOUSE OFFICER POSITION

2.1  The requirements for an appointment to a House Officer position are as follows: 

2.1.1  the appointee has received a DVM or equivalent degree;

2.1.2  the appointment is temporary;

2.1.3  the appointment involves substantial clinical training and research;

2.1.4  the appointment is viewed as preparatory for a general or specialty veterinary intuitional;

2.1.5  industrial or public practice;

2.1.6  the appointee works under the supervision of a scholar or a department in a university; or

2.1.7  similar research institution (e.g., national laboratory, NIH, etc.); and

2.1.8  the appointee is expected to publish the results of his/her research or scholarship during the period of appointment, in consultation with his/her advisor.

2.2  A House Officer must have been awarded a DVM or equivalent doctorate (e.g., VMD, BVSc) by an American Veterinary Medical Associate (AVMA) Council on Education accredited program, or by a “Recognized School of Veterinary Medicine” as defined by the AVMA.

2.3  Creation of a House Officer Appointment

2.3.1  New House Officer positions of .50 FTE or higher must be established in the HR System for tracking purposes.  Vacant House Officer position tracking numbers may be used on a recurring basis by a college or department rather than creating new positions with every appointment.

2.4  Recruitment and Appointment of House Officers

2.4.1  Most House Officers are selected using the Veterinary Internship Residency Matching Program (VIRMP), which is a web-based application and selection system sponsored by the American Association of Veterinary Clinicians.  Open recruitment through NC State’s online employment system may also be utilized, although it is not required since House Officer positions are both temporary and highly-specialized.  CVM will also publicize House Officer vacancies on the CVM website and also utilize professional networks in order to identify qualified candidates and to promote equal opportunity and diversity.

2.5  Offers of Appointment

2.5.1  No written offer of appointment may be made to a House Officer without prior endorsement from the Associate Dean & Director of Veterinary Medical Services or a designee and must comply with applicable university policies.

3.  HOUSE OFFICER TITLES, DEFINITIONS, AND JOB CODES 

3.1  A House Officer must hold one of the following approved titles.  [the term, “House Officer,” broadly refers to all house officers throughout this regulation; however, there are distinct classifications based on the responsibilities and length of program]. 

3.1.1  Intern – An individual who is engaged in a broad-based, one-year program of flexible rotating clinical instruction beyond the professional degree (e.g., DVM).  The program is structured to provide practical experience in applying knowledge gained during veterinary college in a supervised environment.

3.1.2  Resident – An individual who is engaged in a two to three year program in a specialized field of clinical study.  A residency is designed to provide advanced clinical instruction in a specialty of veterinary medicine leading to board certification.

3.1.3  No-Pay Intern/Resident – an individual who receives funding directly from a sponsoring agency and is not compensated through the NC State payroll system though he/she conducts activities or training at CVM in the role of intern/resident.

3.1.4  Postdoctoral appointees are assigned to the following job (JCAT) codes with the Human Resources system:

3.1.4.1  “(932X01)” if an Intern;

3.1.4.2  “(908X00)” if a Resident;

3.1.4.3  None required if a No Pay Employee.

4.  HOUSE OFFICER APPOINTMENTS

4.1  Terms and Conditions of Appointment

4.1.1  Except for Articles 6 and 7 of Chapter 126 of the North Carolina General Statutes (State Personnel System), House Officer appointees are not subject to the State Personnel Act.

4.1.2  House Officer appointments are “at-will” and subject to continuation or discontinuation at the discretion of the Dean or the Dean’s designee.  House Officer appointments, though at- will, may not exceed five (5) years total.  If the position is contingent upon the continued availability of non-state appropriated funds to support the position, the appointment letter must state that continuation of the House Officer appointment is contingent upon the continuing availability of such funds to support the position, shall specify the source of such funds, and shall state that the effect of such contingency may apply without the additional notice otherwise required by Section 4.1.6 below.

4.1.3  All House Officer appointments are contingent upon:

4.1.3.1  verification of the individual’s academic credentials;

4.1.3.2  verification of the individual’s eligibility to work and be paid in the United States; and

4.1.3.3  a satisfactory background check.

4.1.4  If any of the above-listed contingencies are not met, the House Officer appointment will not go into effect or, if the House Officer has begun employment, the appointment shall be terminated immediately.

4.1.5  All House Officers must have an Advisory Committee for the duration of their appointment.  Evaluations are conducted twice a year.  The committee for each House Officer is created within thirty (30) days of hire.

4.1.5.1  For most CVM interns, a standing advisory committee is formed and consists of three faculty members with one of those members being the program advisor.  This committee seeks input on the intern’s performance from all clinical services through which the individual has rotated.  Other interns have the latitude to pick two of their committee members; the third committee member is the program advisor.

4.1.5.2  A residency Advisory Committee will also consist of at least three members.  The Advisory Committee will be comprised of the advisor and one other faculty member from the primary specialty and a faculty member from a second specialty or discipline.  The advisor will serve as chairperson of the committee and will seek input from all faculty involved in that training program.  The advisor and committee members will assume responsibility for the house officer’s professional development until requirements for the House Officer program are complete.

4.1.6  The advisor will be responsible for seeing that all essential meetings are conducted, and that progress reports are submitted.  All evaluations for the House Officer will be maintained in the office of the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services.  Copies of evaluations will be provided to department heads when requested.

4.1.7  Unless the “at will” appointment ends in accordance with Section 7 below (i.e., discharge for cause), discontinuation shall be subject to notice as follows:

4.1.7.1  no less than thirty (30) calendar days notice prior to discontinuation of appointment or the payment of severance pay for thirty (30) days;

4.1.7.2  in the second, third, fourth and fifth year of the appointment, no less than sixty (60) calendar days notice prior to discontinuation of appointment or the payment of severance pay for sixty (60) days;

4.1.7.3  benefits are not continued beyond the last working day if severance is paid in lieu of notice.

4.1.8  The Dean or the Dean’s designee has the discretion to determine whether the notice will be a working notice or whether the payment of severance will be made.

4.1.9  House Officers may end their employment at any time for any reason but are expected to give at least thirty (30) calendar days notice.

4.2  House Officers Not Paid by the University

4.2.1  “No-pay” appointments can be established for House Officers who are not paid directly through NC State’s payroll system but who receive funding directly from an outside agency.  The no-pay appointment provides such externally-funded House Officers with access to NC State’s information technology resources, gym, library and other campus resources.

4.3  Appointment Letter - See Appendix 1.0 for the House Officer Offer letter template.

4.3.1  The CVM Dean or the Dean’s designee (e.g., Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services) appoints an individual to a House Officer position by using a letter that must include the following:

4.3.1.1  Designation of the appointment as “at-will”, 12 month service obligation and subject to continuation or discontinuation at the discretion of the Dean;

4.3.1.2  Stating that the House Officer appointment (individually and cumulatively) shall not exceed five (5) years total;

4.3.1.3  Statement that the appointment is contingent upon the verification of educational credentials, satisfactory background check, successfully obtaining a “Faculty Certificate” or North Carolina Veterinary Medical License, and availability of non-state appropriated funding (if applicable);

4.3.1.4  The conditions regarding subsequent or continued appointment, if any; and

4.3.1.5  Salary and benefits information.

5.  SALARY REQUIREMENTS FOR HOUSE OFFICERS

5.1  The CVM strives to provide House Officers’ with salaries that are competitive with other higher education institutions in NC State’s peer group.  Base salary levels for House Officers will be reviewed periodically by the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Services by compiling salary data from other peer intuitions.

5.2  Base rates are determined by the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Servicesand approved through the Faculty Committee on House Officer Program (FCHOP), pending review of compensation data of peer institutions.  All House Officers who are paid through NC State payroll and from university funds receive the same percentage increase when salary increases are authorized.

5.3  Compensation data from peer institutions will be collected and evaluated by the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services every two (2) years.

6.  EXPECTATIONS OF HOUSE OFFICERS APPOINTEES

6.1  NC State has adopted the following performance expectations for House Officers:

6.1.1  Conscientious fulfillment of agreed-upon duties;

6.1.2  Adherence to ethical standards of research and scholarship;

6.1.3  Adherence to House Officer Guidelines put in place by the Faculty Committee on House Officer Programs (FCHOP) and all other applicable University policies, rules and regulations on research and research-sponsored activities;

6.1.4  Observation of established federal, state and municipal regulations and guidelines for research involving hazardous materials, human subjects or animals;

6.1.5  Open and timely discussion with advisors regarding the House Officer’s individual development plan, research progress, distribution of materials, or any disclosure of finding or techniques privately or in publications;

6.1.6  Publication of the results of his or her research or scholarship during the period of appointment in consultation with his or her mentor;

6.1.7  Collegial conduct towards co-workers;

6.1.8  Compliance with all applicable University policies and procedures; and

6.1.9  Prior to resignation, it is expected that the House Officer provide at least thirty (30) calendar days written notice.

6.2  Potential Conflict of Interest Activities

6.2.1  House Officers are not permitted to perform external professional activities for pay, including the practice of veterinary medicine outside the CVM, pursuant to the college consulting policy.

6.2.2  Annually, House Officers are required to file a Conflict of Interest disclosure by completing the on-line disclosure form.  NCSU REG01.25.01 - Conflicts of Interest and Conflicts of Commitment.

7.  DISCHARGE

7.1  Discharge

7.1.1  A House Officer may be discharged for cause.  Stated causes for discharge shall include, but not necessarily be limited to, incompetence, unsatisfactory performance, neglect of duty, or misconduct that interferes with the capacity of the appointee to perform effectively the requirements of his or her appointment, violations of NC State policies, rules or regulations, and failure to meet the expectations as set forth in Section 6 of the policy.  Discharge for cause is to be preceded by written notice of intent to discharge.  When a House Officer has been notified of the intent to discharge him or her for cause, the Dean or the Dean’s designee may place the appointee on administrative leave with pay.  Within five (5) business days of receiving the notice of intent to discharge, the House Officer may file a written request with the Dean or Dean’s designee for a meeting.  Within five (5) business days of receiving the request from the House Officer, the Dean or Dean’s designees will hold a meeting in order to allow the House Officer the opportunity to respond to the proposed discharge.  The Dean or the Dean’s designee will make a final decision in writing within ten (10) business days of the meeting.  If the decision of the Dean or the Dean’s designee is to discharge the House Officer, then the House Officer may be discharged without further review.

8.  PROCEDURE FOR WORKPLACE CONCERNS UNLESS COVERED BY ANOTHER NC STATE POLICY, RULE OR REGULATION

8.1  A House Officer may use the following procedures to address matters of workplace concern related to his/her appointment:

8.1.2  The House Officer should make a reasonable effort to resolve the matter through direct discussions with his/her advisor.

8.1.3  The House Officer is encouraged to utilize mediation services available, free of charge through the university.  Mediation services that support the informal resolution of workplace concerns are available though Human Resource’s Employee Relations unit.

8.1.4  If the matter is not adequately resolved by discussion with the advisor or through mediation, the House Officer may formally request review by the advisor’s department head, center director or other unit administrator directly responsible for the House Officer advisor’s professional activities.  Such a request must be accompanied by a written statement describing the matter of concern, the supporting facts, the disposition of prior discussions, and the desired resolution.  The responsible department head, center director or other unit administrator responsible shall review the matter promptly and provide a written response outlining the reasons for the decision.

8.5  If still unresolved, the House Officer may formally request resolution from the CVM Dean or designee.  Such a request must be filed within five (5) business days of the previous decisions and accompanied by a written statement describing the matter of concern, the supporting facts, and the disposition of prior discussions.  The Dean or designee should meet with the House Officer within five (5) business days of receiving the request to discuss the concern.  The Dean or other designee shall review the matter within ten (10) business days, providing a written response outlining the reasons for the decision.  Such decision shall be final and there shall be no further review.

9.  EVALUATION OF THE RESIDENCY TRAINING PROGRAM

9.1  The FCHOP will review individual House Officer Programs and recommend revisions or modifications.  FCHOP will invite all interns and final-year residents to attend an unbiased exit interview during the last month of their program.  FCHOP will forward the results of these interviews to respective department heads, advisors, and the Associate Dean and Director of Veterinary Medical Services.

10.  BENEFITS AND LEAVE PROVISIONS

10.1  The benefits and leave provisions currently provided to House Officers are outlined below.  Benefits offered through the university or the State are subject to change or discontinuation at any time.

10.2  Retirement

10.2.1  House Officers may participate in the UNC System Voluntary 403(b) Program and the North Carolina Public Employee Deferred Compensation Plan provided under Section 457 of the Internal Revenue Code.

10.3  Health Insurance

10.3.1  Health insurance is offered to House Officers, who are paid through the University payroll system, through the Post Doc Medical Plan.  To be covered under this benefit plan, House Officers must be on an active, paid assignment of at least .75 FTE.  Dependents may be covered under this health plan as long as the House Officer participates; however, dependent premiums are not payroll deducted and must be paid by bank draft directly to the plan administrator.  Health insurance coverage is effective on the first day of the month following the hire date and ends the last day of the month in which the postdoctoral appointee terminates (unless the termination date is the first of the month; then the coverage ends on the first of the month).  If applicable, a waiting period may apply for pre-existing conditions for new House Officers and covered dependents.  House Officers are expected to first use Student Health Services for their medical needs prior to seeking services from an off-campus provider; more information about the Post Doc Medical Plan is available online.  House Officers who are not paid through NC State are not eligible to enroll through the university but may be able to obtain payment for their health insurance through arrangements with the funding agency.  Dental insurance is also available for House Officers.

10.4  Types of Leave

10.4.1  Full-time (1.0 FTE) House Officers earn one (1) day of paid time off for annual leave and one (1) day of sick leave monthly, for a total of twelve (12) annual leave days and twelve (12) sick leaves days per year.  Leave is prorated for part-time House Officers who work half-time or more (.50-.99 FTE).  Leave accrual and use must be tracked in the HR Web Leave system.

10.4.1.1  The maximum number of unused days of annual leave that a House Officer may accrue and carry forward from one calendar year to the next shall be twenty-four (24) days. Accrued, unused sick leave carries forward without a limit within the term of appointment.  Once the House Officer exceeds twenty-four (24) days of annual leave, the remaining days will be converted to sick leave at the end of the calendar year.

10.4.1.2  Unused annual and sick leave will not be paid out when the House Officer appointment ends and will not be converted or carried forward if the House Officer subsequently accepts a regular EPA or SPA position at the University.

10.4.1.3  House Officers are subject to the Veterinary Teaching Hospital (VTH) official holidays and closings per active clinical assignment.  House Officers who do not have an active clinical assignment will adhere to the NC State official holidays and closings.

10.4.1.4  House Officers are subject to NCSU REG04.20.07 - Adverse Weather and Other Emergency Conditions.  House Officers are considered essential personnel as determined by their clinical assignment.

10.4.1.5  House Officers are eligible for family and medical leave as outlined in the Family Medical Leave guidelines or as required by law.

10.4.1.6  House Officers are not subject to or eligible for shared leave, community service leave, family illness leave, or other leave provisions applicable to EPA employees unless stated otherwise in the regulation or as required by Federal or State law.

11.  OTHER PROVISIONS APPLICABLE TO HOUSE OFFICERS

11.1  Except as otherwise addressed in this regulation, House Officers are governed by the same university policies and regulations that apply to permanent EPA or SPA employees, including but not limited to conflict of interest, research activities, research misconduct, intellectual property and technology transfer.  Information applicable to international House Officers can be found through NC State’s International Employment Office and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.