Wednesday, June 27, 2012
AMA: Residents should have opportunity to moonlight
New policy adopted by the AMA aims to ensure that residents and fellows who are in good standing with their programs have the opportunity for external and internal moonlighting.
The policy, which the AMA House of Delegates passed last week during its Annual Meeting, calls for the AMA to work with the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, the American Osteopathic Association and graduate medical education programs to allow residents and fellows who are in good standing with their programs the opportunity to moonlight.
As the amount of medical school loan debt continues to grow, moonlighting gives residents the opportunity to reduce this debt burden. The average medical student who graduated in 2010 had $157,944 in medical school debt, and 17 percent of medical student graduates had debt surpassing $200,000.
The House adopted numerous other policies during the Annual Meeting. Read American Medical News' coverage.
Study suggests link between program size, passage rates
Surgery residents training in larger programs could be more likely to pass the written and oral board exams of the American Board of Surgery on their first attempt, the authors of a study published in the May 2012 issue of Surgery argue.
In their study, John L. Falcone, MD, and Giselle G. Hamad, MD, compared first-time examinee performances of 237 residency programs from 2006 to 2011. Their analysis yielded a definite—though low—positive correlation between the size of the residency program and the rate at which residents passed the board exams on their first attempt.
However, the authors noted in the study that their lack of knowledge concerning how board passage data are produced could limit their interpretation of the data. Additionally, an article in General Surgery News argues that other confounding factors could undermine the results.
For instance, larger, well-known residency programs are more likely to be based at medical schools and attract applicants with particular characteristics. Additionally, the study's sample size could have potentially skewed its statistical comparison because extreme outcomes are more likely in small samples than in large ones.
The article notes that no matter the size of the program, residents are often the key to their own success.
The AMA works continuously to ensure all residents are well prepared for practice. An online resource, "Succeeding from Medical School to Practice" (AMA member login required), can help AMA members prepare for the next step of their careers.