AMA Wire

Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012

For Residents

Residents, attendings prove equal in rapid response

Senior residents are about as effective as attending physicians in leading hospital rapid response teams, according to a new study in the journal Resuscitation.

In an effort to compare the performance of rapid response teams under the leadership of an attending intensivist and under a senior resident, researchers from the University of Pennsylvania examined team responses to about 1,400 rapid-response events over a four-year period. The study found no significant difference between the two groups in mortality rates, rate of transition to cardiac arrest, and rate of transfer to the intensive care unit among the patients who triggered the rapid response team's action at the University of Pennsylvania Medical Center.

In an era of increased focus on quality improvement in health care, hospitals' rapid response teams, which provide life-saving care by helping practitioners identify and respond to emergency patient situations, have come to serve an important role in many institutions. The results of this study may be an encouraging development for hospitals that could employ residents on rapid response teams, leaving more seasoned physicians available to treat more critically ill patients. 

Policy brief outlines issues in financing of GME

A new health policy brief produced by Health Affairs and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation concisely lays out the issues facing funding for graduate medical education (GME) in the years ahead.

The policy brief outlines many of the ongoing challenges for GME, including the $9.5 billion per year cost; the impending shortage of physicians, especially in primary care; the lack of enthusiasm among resident specialists to start their practices in rural areas; and the debate over whether GME should be tied to quality improvement measures.

As possible changes to the Medicare payment model emerge in the form of new payment and delivery models, how GME is connected is more important than ever. The AMA offers a variety of resources on GME policy and advocacy topics that are important to residents.