Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012
Candidates sought for seat on internal medicine panel
Apply today to become the next member of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Residency Review Committee of Internal Medicine. The resident member participates as a full voting member in all Residency Review Committee of Internal Medicine activities, including program review and policy discussion. Resident members must be able to devote 30 to 35 hours to program review before each committee meeting, and the RRC meets twice annually.
Visit the AMA Resident and Fellow Section's Leadership Opportunities Web page to learn more about this AMA slotted seat and how to apply.
Duty hours survey notes drop in resident education
Next July will mark 10 years since the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) first instituted duty-hour regulations. Despite a decade of study, researchers remain unsure of how duty hours have affected patient care, resident training and resident quality of life.
Shimae Fitzgibbons, MD, and colleagues have added to the existing literature with their rare long-term multi-institutional survey study of orthopedic residents' perceptions of duty hours. Their article, recently published in the Annals of Surgery, surveyed 216 orthopedic residents on duty hours, resident fatigue and their training between 2003 and 2009.
Like most surveys of residents and faculty, the residents believed the sufficiency of direct clinical experience, the number of hours spent performing major procedures, and their overall satisfaction with their educational experience had declined. Surprisingly, despite the fact that their mean work hours decreased from 74.5 to 66.2 between 2003 and 2009, the average reported hours of sleep remained unchanged.
On a positive note, residents agreed that they were less fatigued and acknowledged the detrimental effect fatigue can have on patient care. The authors conclude that "additional studies are needed to better understand the influence of work hours and fatigue on the outcomes of education, resident well-being, and patient care to guide the optimal design and delivery of graduate medical education."
Although helpful as a long-term evaluation of resident perceptions of duty-hour restrictions, the study doesn't provide information on how the residents perceive their education in the wake of the additional 2011 ACGME standards. One area highlighted for improvement in the 2011 standards is patient handoffs, which inevitably increase with shorter resident shifts. The AMA has compiled resources on improving patient handoffs to help residents maintain high-level patient care while complying with the ACGME duty-hour standards.