Provide residents with the right work environment

Residency Program Insider, October 23, 2015

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The ACGME requires all trainees be provided with access to food while on duty as well as adequate call room facilities for trainees on call or serving an extended shift. These food services should be available 24 hours per day and may include a well-stocked vending machine or residents’ lounge with a freezer full of food for on-call residents. Availability is the key term here. Give your trainees a meal card that is automatically loaded each day with a set dollar amount, which is zeroed out each day at midnight. In addition, for each night of 24-hour duty, give your residents a small meal stipend, which is loaded on their photo ID badge and stays there until the end of the academic year.

Call rooms are very important to residents/fellows and can vary from institution to institution. But sleeping quarters must be “safe, quiet, and private.” Even if your call rooms have only the bare essentials, that is much better than residents sleeping on a couch in the departmental lounge or a private office. In this era of duty hours and reducing stress and fatigue, sleeping on a couch is not an acceptable alternative to sleeping on a real bed in a call room. Residents should have a mechanism for reporting problems with their call rooms and should be informed about the procedure at orientation or by the residency coordinators.

Source: The Graduate Medical Education Office Handbook

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