AMA Wire

Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2012

For Residents

Night curriculum improves learning in duty-hour era

A new curriculum designed specifically for nighttime pediatrics residents has been proven to improve resident learning and confidence, according to the results of a national field test published recently in Pediatric News.

The Web- and case-based curriculum, designed by a collaboration of pediatrics associations, consists of 30 modules on medical and communication subjects, including topics ranging from fever and seizures to handoffs and autonomous decision-making. When surveyed, residents using the curriculum believed their nighttime learning was significantly improved.

Curricula such as this is needed in the wake of the 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty-hour rules, which have put increasing pressure on programs to implement night float systems to maintain coverage. Many are concerned that these systems—even if in compliance with the ACGME rules—are often more "service oriented" than learning-based and can lead to decrements in resident education.

As the curriculum developers recognize, the new ACGME rules have led not only to new schedule designs but also an increase in patient handoffs. Improving patient handoffs will be essential to preserving the quality of patient care under the new duty-hour rules.

In an effort to help residents make this adjustment, the AMA offers a resource page on improving patient handoffs.

From your mentor, with love: helpful tips for mentees

Finding a fruitful mentoring relationship with a senior faculty member can be critical to a resident's professional success. But in the busy lives of physicians, there are challenges both to being a good mentor and a good mentee.

Suzanne Gillespie, MD, and colleagues have compiled some of these challenges into thoughtful "love letters" based on actual interactions between mentors and mentees for a recent article in the Journal of Graduate Medical Education.

"This is not a 'Dear John' letter; we aren't breaking up with you," the authors write, tongue-in-cheek. "But there are some things you have said and done that make us wonder if you really understand what we want and need from these relationships."

Among the suggestions the authors give for being a better mentee: Give proper notice if you would like feedback before a deadline, provide your mentor with reflective assessments of your work instead of starting with 'what do you think?' and become your own champion.

New disability insurance options available through AMA Insurance

A racquetball injury, an auto accident or a debilitating illness or injury all can affect your ability to practice medicine and jeopardize your ability to make a living as a physician.

Are you covered? Is your disability insurance coverage enough? Consider the new options available through the vetted professionals of AMA Insurance's Physicians Financial Partners (PFP) program.

For example, physicians in specialized practices have access to higher benefit limits available only through their local PFP member. And physicians with outstanding medical school loans can consider a lump-sum product built specifically for paying off debt.

Exclusive physician rates are available.

For physicians who prefer a consultative approach, this disability coverage is offered through Millennium Brokerage Group, LLC, and other financial professionals approved to participate in AMA Insurance's PFP program.

To learn more about your coverage options or to obtain a no-obligation assessment of your coverage, contact the PFP today.