Holidays for med students and residents??

Okay, call me way ignorant but since it’s that holiday time of year, I’ve been wondering what the holidays are like for med students and residents (I’m still working on my BA).
I imagine the first two years of med school, students have a vacation and still have studying to do, but they have some sort of break, yes? What about after that? Are students doing clinicals on holidays as well?
I know a lot of residents work holidays. But is it every holiday or do they rotate?
Working holidays actually makes me glad that my kids will be older by the time I reach that point. I imagine it’s harder to be away from them when they are little!

During my first two years, the winter break was actually shorter than during years 3 and 4 - we were off from Dec. 23 to Jan. 2 or something like that. Last year and this, i enjoy a full two weeks’ vacation spanning Christmas and New Year.
Residents get two or three weeks paid vacation per year. In the programs I’ve interviewed with so far, they’ve indicated that they try to arrange it so people can take one week off during the Christmas-New Year time span, but you definitely won’t get off both. And sometimes you won’t get off for either.
Thanksgiving is a four-day break during years 1 and 2, is a day off or more during years 3 and 4 (depends on the clinical site), and can be a work day for residents if they’re on call.

Hi there,
During first year of medical school, we did not have class on any federal holidays and generally had a week off at Thanksgiving. We ended first semester on December 12th or so and came back on the first Monday after New Year. During second year, we had the same Federal holidays off, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s vacation. We also had a generous Spring Break in March. Classes ended during the third week in April so we could study for USMLE Step I.
During third year, we were required off on Thanksgiving Thursday and Friday, plus Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Years. We did rotations for the total 12 month period from August to August. We got the last two weeks in August free to study for USMLE Step II.

During fourth year, we got a whole month off for vacation. You had to tell what month you were taking. You also had the option of doing an addition elective or Acting Internship. In addition, you got all of the Federal Holidays, Spring Break, Christmas and New Years off. Fourth year of medical school is wonderful. Most folks did lots of travel during fourth year.
During residency, here at UVa, we get five weeks total of vacation. I generally split my vacation up into two week periods and I take the week after Christmas off. We are required to work either Christmas or New Year’s but not both. We do not get any other holiday’s off unless they happen to fall on your scheduled day off. You are required to work no more than 80 hours averaged over a four-week period. If you go over 80-hours one week, you have to take enough time off the next week to put you back under the 80-hour average. Over the last month, I averaged 80.7 hours per week. My average pushed over 80 hours when I had a week that was 84 hours. I will take an extra day off next week so I get back under the radar.
As I have stated before, it is very difficult to get down to 80 hours in surgery. You just don’t walk out in the middle of a surgery. Since some of my cases are long, I can push over the 80-hour mark. Medicine is not shift-work. You can’t just refuse to work or abandon a patient. Generally we let our chiefs know when we are in the red zone (within 12 hours of 80) so that we can redistribute the work. The workload is the same, you have a shorter period of time to get it done. As an intern, you don’t have the luxury (as I did) to have plenty of time to adjust to the work and the work environment. You literally hit the ground running.
These days, while I am home a bit more, I am generally exhausted from the all out run to get things done. Patients have to been seen and you don’t want to dump work on your fellow residents. I literally start rounding on my patients at 0600h, get into the OR by 0730h and operate most of the day or see patients in clinic. In between cases, I see patients in consultation in the ER or on the floor. Medicine will frequently consult Vascular or Thoracic Surgery for problems with patients. Third, Fourth and Fifth year of residency means more operating and chief of service duties in addition to teaching. It also means less time off.