In July 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) introduced a set of regulations that mandated a reduction in the number of hours that medical residents can work. These requirements have generated controversy among medical educators, with some expressing concern that reducing resident hours may limit clinical exposure and competency, particularly in surgical specialties.
This study examines the impact of duty hour restrictions on resident operative experience in residents in 2 surgical subspecialties since the implementation of the ACGME duty hour limits.
We examined operative log data for vascular surgery and pediatric surgery, using the academic year immediately preceding the duty hour restrictions, 2002 to 2003, as a baseline for comparison to subsequent academic years through 2006 to 2007 for vascular surgery and 2007 to 2008 for pediatric surgery.
Graduating fellows in pediatric surgery showed no change in their total operative volume following duty hour restrictions. The pediatric-defined category of neonate procedures showed an increase following duty hour restrictions. Graduating fellows in vascular surgery showed an increase in total major procedures as surgeon. The vascular-defined categories of endovascular-diagnostic, endovascular-therapeutic, and endovascular-graft procedures also increased.
The reduction of duty hours has not resulted in a decrease in operative volume as some have predicted. Operative volume in pediatric surgery remained mainly unchanged, whereas operative volume in vascular surgery increased. We explore possible explanations for the observed findings.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) requires an annual evaluation of all ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs to assess program quality. The results of this evaluation must be used to improve the program. This manuscript describes a metric to be used in conducting ACGME-mandated annual program review of ACGME-accredited anesthesiology residencies and fellowships.
A variety of metrics to assess anesthesiology residency and fellowship programs are identified by the authors through literature review and considered for use in constructing a program "report card."
Metrics used to assess program quality include success in achieving American Board of Anesthesiology (ABA) certification, performance on the annual ABA/American Society of Anesthesiology In-Training Examination, performance on mock oral ABA certification examinations, trainee scholarly activities (publications and presentations), accreditation site visit and internal review results, ACGME and alumni survey results, National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) results, exit interview feedback, diversity data and extensive program/rotation/faculty/curriculum evaluations by trainees and faculty. The results are used to construct a "report card" that provides a high-level review of program performance and can be used in a continuous quality improvement process.
An annual program review is required to assess all ACGME-accredited residency and fellowship programs to monitor and improve program quality. We describe an annual review process based on metrics that can be used to focus attention on areas for improvement and track program performance year-to-year. A "report card" format is described as a high-level tool to track educational outcomes.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education instituted common duty hour limits, and in 2008 the Institute of Medicine recommended additional limits on continuous duty hours. Using a night-float system is an accepted approach for adhering to duty hour mandates.
To determine the effect of an on-site night-float attending physician on resident education and patient care.
Night-float residents and daytime ward residents were surveyed at the end of their rotation about the impact of an on-site night-float attending physician on education and quality of patient care. Responses were provided on a 5-point Likert scale ranging from 1, strongly agree, to 5, strongly disagree.
Overall, 92 of the 140 distributed surveys were completed (66% response rate). Night-float residents found the night-float attending physician to be helpful with cross-cover issues (mean = 2.00), initial history and physical examination (mean = 1.56), choosing appropriate diagnostic tests (mean = 1.79), developing a treatment plan (mean = 1.74), and improving overall patient care (mean = 1.91). Daytime ward residents were very satisfied with the quality of the admission workups (mean = 1.78), tests and diagnostic procedures (mean = 1.76), and initial treatment plan (mean = 1.62) provided by the night-float service.
A night-float system that includes on-site attending physician supervision can provide a valuable opportunity for resident education and may help improve the quality of patient care.
In a recent report, the Institute of Medicine recommended more restrictions on residents' working hours. Several problems exist with a system that places a weekly limit on resident duty hours: (1) it assumes the presence of a linear relationship between hours of work and patient safety; (2) it fails to consider differences in intensity among programs; and (3) it does not address increases in the scientific content of medicine, and it places the burden of enforcing the duty hour limits on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
An innovative method of calculating credit hours for graduate medical education would shift the focus from “years of residency” to “hours of residency.” For example, internal medicine residents would be requested to spend 8640 hours of total training hours (assuming 60 hours per week for 48 weeks annually) instead of the traditional 3 years. This method of counting training hours is used by other professions, such as the Intern Development Program of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. The proposed approach would allow residents and program directors to pace training based on individual capabilities. Standards for resident education should include the average number of patients treated in each setting (inpatient or outpatient). A possible set of “multipliers” based on these parameters, and possibly others such as resident evaluation, is devised to calculate the “final adjusted accredited hours” that count toward graduation.
Substituting “years of training” with “hours of training” may resolve many of the concerns with the current residency education model, as well as adapt to the demands of residents' personal lives. It also may allow residents to pace their training according to their capabilities and learning styles, and contribute to reflective learning and better quality education.
Among medical educators, there are concerns that the 2003 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hour rules (DHR) has encouraged the development of a “shift work” mentality among residents while eroding professionalism by forcing residents to either abandon patients when they hit 80 hours or lie about hours worked. In this qualitative study, we explore how medical and surgical residents perceive and respond to DHR by examining the ‘local’ organizational culture in which their work is embedded.
In 2008, we conducted three months of ethnographic observation of internal medicine and general surgery residents as they went about their everyday work in two hospitals affiliated with the same training program. We also conducted in-depth interviews with seventeen residents. Field notes and interview transcripts were analyzed for perceptions and behaviors surrounding coming and leaving work, reporting of duty hours, and resident opinion about DHR.
Our respondents did not exhibit a “shift work” mentality in relation to their work. We found that residents: 1) occasionally stay in the hospital in order to complete patient care tasks even when, according to the clock, they were required to leave because the organizational culture stressed performing work thoroughly, 2) do not blindly embrace noncompliance with DHR but are thoughtful about the tradeoffs inherent in the regulations, and 3) express nuanced and complex reasons for erroneously reporting duty hours that suggest that reporting hours worked is not a simple issue of lying or truth telling.
Concerns about DHR and the erosion of resident professionalism via the development of a “shift work” mentality are likely to have been over-stated. At the institution we examined, residents did not behave as automatons punching in and out at prescribed times. Rather, they are mindful of the consequences and meaning surrounding the decisions they make to stay or leave work. When work hour rules are broken, residents do not perceive this behavior to be deviant but rather as a reflection of the higher priority that they place on providing patient care than on complying strictly with DHR. The influence of DHR on professionalism is more complex than conventional wisdom suggests and requires additional assessment.
internship and residency; duty hour regulations; professionalism
In December 2008 the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released a report recommending limits on resident hours that are considerably more restrictive than the current Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hour standards.
In March 2009, a large pediatric residency program implemented a 1-month trial of a schedule and team structure fully congruent with the IOM recommendations to study the implications of such a schedule.
Comparison of the interns' experience in the trialed intervention schedule was made to interns working a traditional schedule with every fourth night call.
The residents on the intervention schedule averaged 7.8 hours of sleep per 24-hour period compared to 7.6 hours for interns in a traditional schedule. Participation in bedside rounds and formal didactic conferences was decreased in the intervention schedule. Several factors contributed to increased perceived work intensity for interns in the intervention schedule. Redistribution of work during busy shifts altered the role of senior residents and attending physicians which may have a negative effect on senior residents' ability to develop skills as supervisors and educators.
The trial implementation suggests it is possible to implement the proposed duty hour limits in a pediatric residency, but it would require a significant increase in the resident workforce (at least 25% and possibly 50%) to care for the same number of patients. Furthermore, the education model would need to undergo significant changes. Further trials of the IOM recommendations are needed prior to widespread implementation in order to learn what works best and causes the least harm, disruption, and unnecessary cost to the system.
To assess the impact of work hours' limitations required by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) on residents' career satisfaction, emotions and attitudes.
A validated survey instrument was used to assess residents' levels of career satisfaction, emotions and attitudes before and after the ACGME duty hour requirements were implemented. The "pre" implementation survey was distributed in December 2002 and the "post" implementation one in December 2004. Only the latter included work-hour related questions.
The response rates were 56% for the 2002 and 72% for the 2004 surveys respectively. Although career satisfaction remained unchanged, numerous changes occurred in both emotions and attitudes. Compared to those residents who did not violate work-hour requirements, those who did were significantly more negative in attitudes and emotions.
With the implementation of the ACGME work hour limitations, the training experience became more negative for those residents who violated the work hour limits and had a small positive impact on those who did not violate them. Graduate medical education leaders must innovate to make the experiences for selected residents improved and still maintain compliance with the work hour requirements.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACMGE) implemented a single duty hour standard nationwide. The evidence to date suggests that this neither improved nor worsened patient outcomes. In June 2010, the ACGME proposed a new set of duty hour standards for implementation in July 2011. The main disadvantage of this approach is that we will not be able to determine whether different standards would have worked better to reduce resident fatigue while improving patient safety. There are many unanswered questions as to how to design duty hour standards but relatively little evidence; in addition, the same approach may not work in all specialties and all hospitals. A more flexible, dynamic policy that emphasizes ongoing testing and evaluation would be more likely to achieve improvements in clinical and educational outcomes.
In anticipation of the 2011 ACGME duty hour requirements, we redesigned our internal medicine resident ward experience. Our previous ward structure included a maximum 30-hour duty period for postgraduate year-1 (PGY-1) residents. In the redesigned ward structure, PGY-1 residents had a maximum 18-hour duty period.
We evaluated resident conference attendance and duty hour violations before and after implementation of our new ward redesign. We administered a satisfaction survey to residents and faculty 6 months after implementation of the new ward redesign.
Before implementation of the ward redesign, 30-hour continuous and 80-h/wk duty violations were each 2/year, and violations of the 10-hour rest between duty periods were 10/year for 74 residents. After implementation of the ward redesign, there were no 30-hour continuous or 80-h/wk duty violations, but violations of the 10-hour rest between duty periods more than doubled (26/year for 75 residents). Duty hours were reported by different mechanisms for the 2 periods. Conference attendance improved. Resident versus faculty satisfaction scores were similar. Both groups judged overall professional satisfaction as slightly worse after implementation.
Our ward rotation redesign eliminated 30-hour continuous and 80-h/wk duty violations as well as improved conference attendance. These benefits occurred at the cost of more faculty hires, decreased resident elective time, and slightly worse postimplementation satisfaction scores.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education 2011 duty hour standards became effective on 7 1, 2011. One of the new standards allows residents to exceed the limit on continuous duty hours in unusual circumstances relating to patient or family need or rare educational opportunities. There are no data about how often or in what circumstances residents would consider exceeding their duty hour limits using this new provision in the standards. We surveyed internal medicine residents to explore these questions.
We conducted an anonymous cross-sectional survey of internal medicine residents at a midwestern tertiary-care hospital to determine how often they had considered exceeding duty hour limits in the preceding 2 weeks. We analyzed responses using descriptive statistics and χ2 tests for comparisons.
We obtained responses from 51 of 86 residents (59%). Of those residents, 69% (35/51) indicated that they had wanted to exceed duty hour limits at least once in the prior 2 weeks. The most common reason cited was to provide continuity of care for a patient. The 24 + 6–hour rule was the standard most likely to be broken (cited by 66%; 23/35).
Program leadership should anticipate that residents will commonly identify situations in which they will consider exceeding duty hour limits. It will be important to provide guidance to residents early in the year about the situations that would be appropriate for the application of this new standard.
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education standardized and regulated work hours for physicians in training in the United States. In December 2008, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended further reductions in duty hours to ensure safer conditions for patients and residents and fellows. Significantly, the IOM committee acknowledged that there are barriers to implementing its recommendations.
In the wake of the IOM proposals, we chose to survey a reference closer to home: residency program directors, faculty, and residents. Our survey allowed them the opportunity to express their opinions regarding the IOM proposals.
The majority of the faculty oppose the proposed IOM changes, arguing that there is no definite evidence to support the hypothesis that fewer work hours mean better outcomes in patient safety and education. First-year residents and residents who moonlight were more likely to experience stress and to support decreased work hours.
The thoughts and opinions of faculty and residents collected through this survey, in combination with evidence-based studies from trial implementation of these standards, will contribute real answers to the challenging questions on resident work hours.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hour requirements may affect residents' understanding and practice of professionalism.
We explored residents' perceptions about the current teaching and practice of professionalism in residency and the impact of duty hour requirements.
Anonymous cross-sectional survey.
Internal medicine, neurology, and family practice residents at 3 teaching hospitals (n = 312).
Using Likert scales and open-ended questions, the questionnaire explored the following: residents' attitudes about the principles of professionalism, the current and their preferred methods for teaching professionalism, barriers or promoters of professionalism, and how implementation of duty hours has affected professionalism.
One hundred and sixty-nine residents (54%) responded. Residents rated most principles of professionalism as highly important to daily practice (91.4%, 95% confidence interval [CI] 90.0 to 92.7) and training (84.7%, 95% CI 83.0 to 86.4), but fewer rated them as highly easy to incorporate into daily practice (62.1%, 95% CI 59.9 to 64.3), particularly conflicts of interest (35.3%, 95% CI 28.0 to 42.7) and self-awareness (32.0%, 95% CI 24.9 to 39.1). Role-modeling was the teaching method most residents preferred. Barriers to practicing professionalism included time constraints, workload, and difficulties interacting with challenging patients. Promoters included role-modeling by faculty and colleagues and a culture of professionalism. Regarding duty hour limits, residents perceived less time to communicate with patients, continuity of care, and accountability toward their colleagues, but felt that limits improved professionalism by promoting resident well-being and teamwork.
Residents perceive challenges to incorporating professionalism into their daily practice. The duty hour implementation offers new challenges and opportunities for negotiating the principles of professionalism.
medical education; residency; professionalism; work hours
Historical bias toward service-oriented inpatient graduate medical education experiences has hindered both resident education and care of patients in the ambulatory setting.
Describe and evaluate a residency redesign intended to improve the ambulatory experience for residents and patients.
Categorical Internal Medicine resident ambulatory practice at the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center.
We created a year-long continuous ambulatory group-practice experience separated from traditional inpatient responsibilities called the long block as an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education Educational Innovations Project. The practice adopted the Chronic Care Model and residents received extensive instruction in quality improvement and interprofessional teams.
The long block was associated with significant increases in resident and patient satisfaction as well as improvement in multiple quality process and outcome measures. Continuity and no-show rates also improved.
An ambulatory long block can be associated with improvements in resident and patient satisfaction, quality measures, and no-show rates. Future research should be done to determine effects of the long block on education and patient care in the long term, and elucidate which aspects of the long block most contribute to improvement.
ambulatory education; clinic; residency training; chronic care model
OBJECTIVE: To describe the views of residency program directors regarding the effect of the 2010 duty hour recommendations on the 6 core competencies of graduate medical education.
METHODS: US residency program directors in internal medicine, pediatrics, and general surgery were e-mailed a survey from July 8 through July 20, 2010, after the 2010 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hour recommendations were published. Directors were asked to rate the implications of the new recommendations for the 6 ACGME core competencies as well as for continuity of inpatient care and resident fatigue.
RESULTS: Of 719 eligible program directors, 464 (65%) responded. Most program directors believe that the new ACGME recommendations will decrease residents' continuity with hospitalized patients (404/464 [87%]) and will not change (303/464 [65%]) or will increase (26/464 [6%]) resident fatigue. Additionally, most program directors (249-363/464 [53%-78%]) believe that the new duty hour restrictions will decrease residents' ability to develop competency in 5 of the 6 core areas. Surgery directors were more likely than internal medicine directors to believe that the ACGME recommendations will decrease residents' competency in patient care (odds ratio [OR], 3.9; 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.5-6.3), medical knowledge (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-3.2), practice-based learning and improvement (OR, 2.7; 95% CI, 1.7-4.4), interpersonal and communication skills (OR, 1.9; 95% CI, 1.2-3.0), and professionalism (OR, 2.5; 95% CI, 1.5-4.0).
CONCLUSION: Residency program directors' reactions to ACGME duty hour recommendations demonstrate a marked degree of concern about educating a competent generation of future physicians in the face of increasing duty hour standards and regulation.
The reactions of residency program directors to the ACGME duty hour recommendations demonstrate a marked degree of concern about educating a competent generation of future physicians in the face of increasing duty hour standards and regulation.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident work hour limitations were implemented in July, 2003. Effects on faculty are not well understood.
The objective of this study was to determine the effects of the resident work hour limitations on the professional lives of faculty physicians.
Design and Participants
Survey of faculty physicians at three teaching hospitals associated with university-based internal medicine and surgery residency programs in Seattle, Washington. Physicians who attended on Internal Medicine and Surgery in-patient services during the 10 mo after implementation of work hour limitations were eligible for participation (N = 366); 282 physicians (77%) returned surveys.
Participants were asked about the effects of resident work hour limitations on aspects of their professional lives, including clinical work, research, teaching, and professional satisfaction.
Most attending physicians reported that, because of work hour limitations, they spent more time on clinical work (52%), felt more responsibility for supervising patient care (65%), and spent less time on research or other academic pursuits (51%) and teaching residents (72%). Reported changes in work content were independently associated with the self-reported probability of leaving academic medicine in the next 3 y.
Resident work hour limitations have had large effects on the professional lives of faculty. These findings may have important implications for recruiting and retaining faculty at academic medical centers.
resident work hours; faculty; physician turnover; academics; surgeons; internal medicine; graduate medical education; resident duty hours
The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) supports chart audit as a method to track competency in Practice-Based Learning and Improvement. We examined whether peer chart audits performed by internal medicine residents were associated with improved documentation of foot care in patients with diabetes mellitus.
A retrospective electronic chart review was performed on 347 patients with diabetes mellitus cared for by internal medicine residents in a university-based continuity clinic from May 2003 to September 2004. Residents abstracted information pertaining to documentation of foot examinations (neurological, vascular, and skin) from the charts of patients followed by their physician peers. No formal feedback or education was provided.
Significant improvement in the documentation of foot exams was observed over the course of the study. The percentage of patients receiving neurological, vascular, and skin exams increased by 20% (from 13% to 33%) (p = 0.001), 26% (from 45% to 71%) (p < 0.001), and 18% (51%–72%) (p = 0.005), respectively. Similarly, the proportion of patients receiving a well-documented exam which includes all three components – neurological, vascular and skin foot exam – increased over time (6% to 24%, p < 0.001).
Peer chart audits performed by residents in the absence of formal feedback were associated with improved documentation of the foot exam in patients with diabetes mellitus. Although this study suggests that peer chart audits may be an effective tool to improve practice-based learning and documentation of foot care in diabetic patients, evaluating the actual performance of clinical care was beyond the scope of this study and would be better addressed by a randomized controlled trial.
The Ochsner Clinic Foundation Anesthesiology Residency Program is the oldest continuously accredited anesthesiology residency program in the state of Louisiana. As the American College of Graduate Medical Education has developed residency training requirements, so has the Ochsner training program evolved from a structure- and process-based program to an outcomes-based program. The author, associated with the program since 1983, reviewed Program Information Forms from 1971 to the present to track the evolution of the anesthesiology residency training program. The Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education demanded allocation of resources to residency training and mandated the demonstration of outcomes of training. The Ochsner Clinic Foundation Anesthesiology Residency Program has kept pace with these demands. The trend for graduate performance on written examinations has been upward. Fifty years ago, graduates practiced locally, but graduates now practice throughout the United States. Many completed fellowship training at increasingly higher profile institutions.
Anesthesiology; medical education; residency education
A key goal of resident duty hour reform by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) in 2003 was to improve patient outcomes.
To assess whether the reform led to a change in readmission rates.
Observational study using multiple time series analysis with hospital discharge data from July 1, 2000 to June 30, 2005. Fixed effects logistic regression was used to examine the change in the odds of readmission in more versus less teaching-intensive hospitals before and after duty hour reform.
All unique Medicare patients (n = 8,282,802) admitted to acute-care nonfederal hospitals with principal diagnoses of acute myocardial infarction, congestive heart failure, gastrointestinal bleeding, or stroke (combined medical group), or a DRG classification of general, orthopedic, or vascular surgery (combined surgical group).
Primary outcome was 30-day all-cause readmission. Secondary outcomes were (1) readmission or death within 30 days of discharge, and (2) readmission, death during the index admission, or death within 30 days of discharge.
For the combined medical group, there was no evidence of a change in readmission rates in more versus less teaching-intensive hospitals [OR = 0.99 (95% CI 0.94, 1.03) in post-reform year 1 and OR = 0.99 (95% CI 0.95, 1.04) in post-reform year 2]. There was also no evidence of relative changes in readmission rates for the combined surgical group: OR = 1.03 (95% CI 0.98, 1.08) for post-reform year 1 and OR = 1.02 (95% CI 0.98, 1.07) for post-reform year 2. Findings for the secondary outcomes combining readmission and death were similar.
Among Medicare beneficiaries, there were no changes in hospital readmission rates associated with resident duty hour reform.
education, medical, graduate; hospital; readmission
Parsimony, and not industry, is the immediate cause of the increase of capital. Industry, indeed, provides the subject which parsimony accumulates. But whatever industry might acquire, if parsimony did not save and store up, the capital would never be the greater.
Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations, book 2, chapter 31
In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education implemented resident duty hour limits that included a weekly limit and limits on continuous hours. Recent recommendations for added reductions in resident duty hours have produced concern about concomitant reductions in future graduates' preparedness for independent practice. The current debate about resident hours largely does not consider whether all hours residents spend in the educational and clinical-care environment contribute meaningfully either to residents' learning or to effective patient care. This may distract the community from waste in the current clinical-education model. We propose that use of “lean production” and quality improvement methods may assist teaching institutions in attaining a deeper understanding of work flow and waste. These methods can be used to assign value to patient- and learner-centered activities and outputs and to optimize the competing and synergistic aspects of all desired outcomes to produce the care the Institute of Medicine recommends: safe, effective, efficient, patient-centered, timely, and equitable. Finally, engagement of senior clinical faculty in determining the culture of the care and education system will contribute to an advanced social-learning and care network.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has announced revisions to the resident duty hour standards in light of a 2008 Institute of Medicine report that recommended further limits. Soliciting resident input regarding the future of duty hours is critical to ensure trainee buy-in.
To assess incoming intern perceptions of duty hour restrictions at 3 teaching hospitals.
We administered an anonymous survey to incoming interns during orientation at 3 teaching hospitals affiliated with 2 Midwestern medical schools in 2009. Survey questions assessed interns' perceptions of maximum shift length, days off, ACGME oversight, and preferences for a “fatigued post-call intern who admitted patient” versus “well-rested covering intern who just picked up patient” for various clinical scenarios.
Eighty-six percent (299/346) of interns responded. Although 59% agreed that residents should not work over 16 hours without a break, 50% of interns favored the current limits. The majority (78%) of interns desired ability to exceed shift limit for rare cases or clinical opportunities. Most interns (90%) favored oversight by the ACGME, and 97% preferred a well-rested intern for performing a procedure. Meanwhile, only 48% of interns preferred a well-rested intern for discharging a patient or having an end of life discussion. Interns who favored 16-hour limits were less concerned with negative consequences of duty hour restrictions (handoffs, reduced clinical experience) and more likely to choose the well-rested intern for certain scenarios (odds ratio 2.33, 95% confidence interval 1.42–3.85, P = .001).
Incoming intern perceptions on limiting duty hours vary. Many interns desire flexibility to exceed limits for interesting clinical opportunities and favor ACGME oversight. Clinical context matters when interns consider the tradeoffs between fatigue and discontinuity.
Residents have a major role in teaching students, yet little has been written about the effects of resident work hour restrictions on medical student education.
Our objective was to determine the effects of resident work hour restrictions on medical student education.
We compared student responses pre work hour restrictions with those completed post work hour restrictions.
Students on required Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Pediatric clerkships at the University of Minnesota.
Two thousand eight hundred twenty-five student responses on end-of-clerkship surveys.
Students reported 1.6 more hours per week of teaching by residents (95%CI 0.8–2.6) in the post work hours era. Students’ ratings of the overall quality of their teaching on the ward did not change appreciably, 0.05 points’ decline on a 5-point scale (P = .05). Like the residents, students worked fewer hours per week (avg. 1.5 hours less, 95%CI 0.4–2.6). There was no change in quality or quantity of attending teaching, students’ relationships with their patients, or the overall value of the clerkships.
Whereas resident duty hour restrictions at our institution have had minimal effect on students’ ratings of the overall teaching quality, they do report being taught more by their residents. This may be a factor of decreased resident fatigue or an increased sense of well-being; but more study is needed to clarify the causes of our observations.
work hours; medical students; residents; medical education
The challenges inherent in medical education are multiple, including recognition of different learning styles among students, incorporation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education competencies and outcomes measurement into the curriculum, and compliance with mandated duty hours along with a heightened awareness of patient safety required by our regulatory institutions. With the requirement that safety become an explicit part of the residency curriculum across all specialties, educators are charged with innovative ways of achieving this goal. The following commentary addresses this need and suggests an innovative approach to the traditional daily rounds' SOAP (subjective, objective, assessment, and plan) note to incorporate a second S for safety. The use of a SOAPS note elevates each encounter by integrating quality and error avoidance as a component of care. This method teaches the next generation of physicians the importance of patient safety as an integral part of every doctor-patient interaction.
In 2006, the University of Virginia became one of the first academic medical institutions to be placed on probation, after the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Institutional Review Committee implemented a new classification system for institutional reviews.
After University of Virginia reviewed its practices and implemented needed changes, the institution was able to have probation removed and full accreditation restored. Whereas graduate medical education committees and designated institutional officials are required to conduct internal reviews of each ACGME–accredited program midway through its accreditation cycle, no similar requirement exists for institutions.
As we designed corrective measures at the University of Virginia, we realized that regularly scheduled audits of the entire institution would have prevented the accumulation of deficiencies. We suggest that institutional internal reviews be implemented to ensure that the ACGME institutional requirements for graduate medical education are met. This process represents practice-based learning and improvement at the institutional level and may prevent other institutions from receiving unfavorable accreditation decisions.
In the United States, the Accreditation Council of graduate medical education (ACGME) requires all accredited Internal medicine residency training programs to facilitate resident scholarly activities. However, clinical experience and medical education still remain the main focus of graduate medical education in many Internal Medicine (IM) residency-training programs. Left to design the structure, process and outcome evaluation of the ACGME research requirement, residency-training programs are faced with numerous barriers. Many residency programs report having been cited by the ACGME residency review committee in IM for lack of scholarly activity by residents.
We would like to share our experience at Lincoln Hospital, an affiliate of Weill Medical College Cornell University New York, in designing and implementing a successful structured research curriculum based on ACGME competencies taught during a dedicated "research rotation".
Since the inception of the research rotation in 2004, participation of our residents among scholarly activities has substantially increased. Our residents increasingly believe and appreciate that research is an integral component of residency training and essential for practice of medicine.
Internal medicine residents' outlook in research can be significantly improved using a research curriculum offered through a structured and dedicated research rotation. This is exemplified by the improvement noted in resident satisfaction, their participation in scholarly activities and resident research outcomes since the inception of the research rotation in our internal medicine training program.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's (ACGME) new requirements raise multiple challenges for academic medical centers. We sought to evaluate career satisfaction, emotional states, positive and negative experiences, work hours and sleep among residents and faculty simultaneously in one academic medical center after implementation of the ACGME duty hour requirements.
Residents and faculty (1330) in the academic health center were asked to participate in a confidential survey; 72% of the residents and 66% of the faculty completed the survey.
Compared to residents, faculty had higher levels of satisfaction with career choice, competence, importance and usefulness; lower levels of anxiousness and depression. The most positive experiences for both groups corresponded to strong interpersonal relationships and educational value; most negative experiences to poor interpersonal relationships and issues perceived outside of the physician's control.
Approximately 13% of the residents and 14% of the faculty were out of compliance with duty hour requirements. Nearly 5% of faculty reported working more than 100 hours per week. For faculty who worked 24 hour shifts, nearly 60% were out of compliance with the duty-hour requirements.
Reasons for increased satisfaction with career choice, positive emotional states and experiences for faculty compared to residents are unexplained. Earlier studies from this institution identified similar positive findings among advanced residents compared to more junior residents. Faculty are more frequently at risk for duty-hour violations. If patient safety is of prime importance, faculty, in particular, should be compliant with the duty hour requirements. Perhaps the ACGME should contain faculty work hours as part of its regulatory function.