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BackTable / ENT / Podcast / Episode #93

How to Take a Leave of Absence

with Taymi Santiago

In this episode of BackTable ENT, Dr. Julie Wei brings Taymi Santiago, a human resources partner, about the process and benefits of taking a leave of absence. Trigger Warning: Suicide is mentioned from 40:30-43:22.

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How to Take a Leave of Absence with Taymi Santiago on the BackTable ENT Podcast)
Ep 93 How to Take a Leave of Absence with Taymi Santiago
00:00 / 01:04

BackTable, LLC (Producer). (2023, February 24). Ep. 93 – How to Take a Leave of Absence [Audio podcast]. Retrieved from

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Podcast Contributors

Taymi Santiago discusses How to Take a Leave of Absence on the BackTable 93 Podcast

Taymi Santiago

Taymi Santiago is a human resources business partner with Nemours in Delaware.

Dr. Julie Wei discusses How to Take a Leave of Absence on the BackTable 93 Podcast

Dr. Julie Wei

Dr. Julie Wei is a pediatric ENT surgeon, professor, clinical researcher, author, and speaker.


First, Santiago recounts why she chose a career in HR, which gave her the ability to support others. She explains various reasons for taking a leave of absence, such as personal illness or illness of loved one, maternity/paternity leave, bereavement, education, adoption/foster care, care of elderly parents, and many more. She notes that physicians often ask for a leave of absence when their situation is already dire and there are no other options. Dr. Wei adds that many physicians may feel guilty for feeling like they have abandoned their patients and burdening their colleagues.

Next, Dr. Wei and Taymi discuss the basics of taking a leave of absence. Dr. Wei notes that HR may have negative connotations for physicians. However, Santiago explains that HR departments deal with behavioral issues and conflict management, but help with much more than just employee relations. Generally, a leave of absence is considered to be 12 weeks within 12 months that can be taken off in a continuous or fragmented pattern. They also discuss the various types of leaves that are available, such as short term leave, long term leave, and FMLA. One distinction Santiago makes is the difference between in-house versus third party leave management. For companies that outsource third parties to manage leave of absence paperwork, employees may miss out on company-specific benefits due to a lack of knowledge. For this reason, she recommends that physicians know the contact information of HR personnel at their own company.

Dr. Wei and Santiago also emphasize the two most important aspects of a leave of absence, which are job protection and wage benefit replacements. Finally, they end the discussion by discussing the harmful consequences of not prioritizing physician wellness.

Disclaimer: The Materials available on are for informational and educational purposes only and are not a substitute for the professional judgment of a healthcare professional in diagnosing and treating patients. The opinions expressed by participants of the BackTable Podcast belong solely to the participants, and do not necessarily reflect the views of BackTable.

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