Residency

Confusion over ACGME duty hour regulations prevalent, study says

Residency Program Insider, February 23, 2010

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As the ACGME weighs on the decision to implement new, modified duty hour regulations, a recent study found that trainees and residency program leaders interpret the current work hours differently.

Researchers created 10 duty hour scenarios and asked the ACGME to review them to determine whether a violation occurred. Subsequently, the researchers developed an online survey using the case scenarios. They sent the survey out to family medicine, emergency medicine, and surgery programs asking respondents to identify whether a violation occurred or if they were unsure.

Of the 883 respondents, 97 were program directors, 21 were assistant program directors, and 765 were residents.

According to the study, program directors and residents largely interpreted the scenarios differently. Study authors believe this shows that there is an ambiguity in the work hour limitations, which makes enforcing the restrictions difficult despite efforts by programs directors and residents to understand the rules.

The article was published in the November 2009 issue of the Journal of Surgical Education.



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