The ACGME's 2011 Changes to Resident Duty Hours: Are They an Unfunded Mandate on Teaching Hospitals?

UC Davis Division of General Medicine and Center for Healthcare Policy and Research, 4150V Street, PSSB Suite 2400, Sacramento, CA, 95817, USA, .
Journal of General Internal Medicine (Impact Factor: 3.42). 11/2011; 27(2):136-8. DOI: 10.1007/s11606-011-1936-x
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Available from: Patrick S Romano, Sep 26, 2015
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    ABSTRACT: Medical residency is a period of intense socialization with a heavy workload. Previous sociological studies have identified efficiency as a practical skill necessary for success. However, many contextual features of the training environment have undergone dramatic change since these studies were conducted. What are the consequences of these changes for the socialization of residents to time management and the development of a professional identity? Based on observations of and interviews with internal medicine residents at three training programs, we find that efficiency is both a social norm and strategy that residents employ to manage a workload for which the demand for work exceeds the supply of time available to accomplish it. We found that residents struggle to be efficient in the face of seemingly intractable "systems" problems. Residents work around these problems, and in doing so develop a tolerance for organizational vulnerabilities.
    Journal of Health and Social Behavior 08/2012; 53(3):344-58. DOI:10.1177/0022146512451130 · 2.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The implementation on July 1, 2011, of new Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) standards for resident supervision and duty hours has prompted considerable debate about the potential positive and negative effects of these changes on patient care and resident education. A recent large-sample study analyzed resident responses to these changes, using a Likert scale response. In this same study, 874 residents also provided free-text comments, which provide added insight into resident perspectives on duty hours and supervision. A mixed-methods quantitative and qualitative survey of residents was conducted in August 2010 to assess resident perceptions of the proposed ACGME regulations. Common concerns in the residents' free responses were synthesized and quantified using content analysis, a common method for qualitative research. A total of 11 617 residents received the survey. Completed surveys were received from 2561 residents (22.0%), with 874 residents (34.1%) providing free-text responses. Most residents (83.0%) expressed unfavorable opinions about the new standards. The most frequently cited concerns included coverage issues, and a negative impact on patient care and education, as well as lack of preparation for senior roles. A smaller portion of residents commented they thought the standards would contribute to improvements in quality of life (36.1%) and patient care (4.9%). ACGME standards are important for graduate medical education, and their aim is to promote high-quality education and better care to patients in teaching institutions. Yet, many residents are concerned about the day-to-day impact of the 2011 regulations, in particular the 16-hour duty period for interns. Most residents who provided free-text responses had a negative impression of the new ACGME regulations. Residents' resistance to duty hour changes may represent a realization that residents are losing a central role in patient care. The concerns identified in this study demonstrate important issues for administrators and policymakers. Resident ideas and opinions should be considered in future revisions of ACGME requirements.
    12/2012; 4(4):454-459. DOI:10.4300/JGME-D-11-00259.1
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    ABSTRACT: IMPORTANCE In 2003, the first phase of duty hour requirements for US residency programs recommended by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) was implemented. Evidence suggests that this first phase of duty hour requirements resulted in a modest improvement in resident well-being and patient safety. To build on these initial changes, the ACGME recommended a new set of duty hour requirements that took effect in July 2011. OBJECTIVE To determine the effects of the 2011 duty hour reforms on first-year residents (interns) and their patients. DESIGN As part of the Intern Health Study, we conducted a longitudinal cohort study comparing interns serving before (2009 and 2010) and interns serving after (2011) the implementation of the new duty hour requirements. SETTING Fifty-one residency programs at 14 university and community-based GME institutions. PARTICIPANTS A total of 2323 medical interns. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES Self-reported duty hours, hours of sleep, depressive symptoms, well-being, and medical errors at 3, 6, 9, and 12 months of the internship year. RESULTS Fifty-eight percent of invited interns chose to participate in the study. Reported duty hours decreased from an average of 67.0 hours per week before the new rules to 64.3 hours per week after the new rules were instituted (P < .001). Despite the decrease in duty hours, there were no significant changes in hours slept (6.8 → 7.0; P = .17), depressive symptoms (5.8 → 5.7; P = .55) or well-being score (48.5 → 48.4; P = .86) reported by interns. With the new duty hour rules, the percentage of interns who reported concern about making a serious medical error increased from 19.9% to 23.3% (P = .007). CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE Although interns report working fewer hours under the new duty hour restrictions, this decrease has not been accompanied by an increase in hours of sleep or an improvement in depressive symptoms or well-being but has been accompanied by an unanticipated increase in self-reported medical errors.
    JAMA Internal Medicine 03/2013; 173(8):1-6. DOI:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.351 · 13.12 Impact Factor
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