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Holiday Hours, Pay and Additional Hours at Your Medical Practice

Holiday Hours, Pay and Additional Hours at Your Medical Practice

As a provider in private practice the holidays can be a time of unhappiness and grief. Physician Practice has an article that can assist you with implementing a holiday policy that might not cause you quite as much inter-office grief.

In her article, Carol Stryker states:

“The elements of such a policy should include:
Happy Holidays
Holidays when the office will be closed. Each office should observe holidays based upon its patient makeup, the preferences of the owner(s), and the composition of employees. A statement describing the rationale for the holidays chosen promotes employee acceptance of the selections.

Religious holidays can be a challenge in a multi-cultural society. There is no requirement to observe the special days of every religion, but it is important to list the specific holidays the office will observe. It is also wise to address the accommodation, if any, that can be made for a practitioner of a religion whose holidays the office does not observe.

Secular holidays present a challenge because some are more important to particular folks than others. To avoid confusion, list the specific holidays to be observed, and note that holidays not listed will not affect normal office hours.

Holiday pay. Each category of employee (salaried, full-time hourly, part-time hourly, and probationary) should be addressed.

This section should answer the questions:

Will staff be paid as if they worked on a holiday?

How will staff be compensated if they actually work on a holiday? Double time, triple time, and time off on another day are all options to consider.”


Having been on both sides of “holiday policies”, I can attest from a management standpoint, that it’s not easy making everyone happy. In my opinion, it’s always best to try to take everyone’s considerations into account, thus allowing as much quality time as possible with family at the holidays.

Carol goes on to talk about other holiday considerations:


“Decorations and holiday greetings. This is another multi-cultural issue. Some physician/owners want strictly secular decorations and greetings because they want to be inclusive, or because their religion is different from that of their staff and most of their patients. Others are excited about what the holiday means to them and want to celebrate it.

To determine what’s right for your practice, initiate a practice-wide discussion, and consider the sensibilities of everyone in the office and their sense of patient preferences.

Gifts from patients. Patients often fail to distinguish between a gift to the physician and a gift to the office. When it is unclear, the physician tends to assume the gift is for her, and staff assumes it is for the office.

The physician should always have first choice of what he wants to claim, but he needs then to take it home at the end of the day. There is little more irritating to staff than to see the doctor’s office fill up with unopened and unshared gift baskets. Whatever the patient intended, it is always good to share at least some of the gifts.”


She makes a great point about gifts that were received at the office. Personally at our office, anything that comes in, whether it be a basket, tins etc, is always shared and left in the office for everyone to try. I am sure that if it’s not being shared the staff would expect it to be taken home, as I would expect the same if I didn’t receive it personally.


Read more articles related to practice management, etc at Physician Practice.

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