Study: First-year residents spend 13% of their shift face-to-face with patients

Residency Program Insider, April 18, 2019

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A new study published in JAMA Internal Medicine from researchers at Penn Medicine and Johns Hopkins University reveals how first-year residents, also known as interns, spend their time. According to the study, the breakdown of a typical first-year resident’s 24-hour day includes the following:

  • 3 hours of face-to-face interactions with patients (13% of the day)
  • 16 hours of indirect patient care (66% of the day) including:
    • Slightly more than 10 hours of interacting with EHRs
    • Approximately 6 hours of communication with team members
    • 3.3 hours of communication with non-team members
  • 1.8 hours of education, such as studying and being taught in the hospital (7.7% of the day)
  • 5 hours of rounds (20% of the day)

Note: Some of these activities may happen simultaneously.

“This objective look at how interns spend their time during the workday reveals a previously hidden picture of how young physicians are trained, and the reality of medical practice today,” said Krisda Chaiyachati, M.D., an assistant professor of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine of the University of Pennsylvania and the study’s lead author. “Our study can help residency program leaders take stock of what their interns are doing and consider whether the time and processes are right for developing the physicians we need tomorrow.”

This study is part of a larger study on various shift lengths affect young physicians and their patients. For this smaller study, researchers examined 80 interns in six different internal medicine programs over the course of three months.

Source: Fierce Healthcare

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