Internal medicine resident education in the medical intensive care unit: the impact on education and patient care of a scheduling change for didactic sessions

Kaiser G Lim, William F Dunn, Kyle W Klarich, Bekele Afessa
Critical Care Medicine 2005, 33 (7): 1534-7

OBJECTIVE: Modifications in residency educational programs are needed to comply with the work-hour limitations introduced by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The objective of this study was to determine the impact of rescheduling critical care didactic sessions on medicine residents' education during their medical intensive care unit (MICU) rotation and on outcomes.

DESIGN: A pilot program of nonrandomized design.

SETTING: A graduate school of medicine.

PATIENTS: All patients admitted during the study periods who authorized their medical records to be reviewed.


MEASUREMENTS AND MAIN RESULTS: We instituted a pilot program that replaced the daily traditional 1-hour post-rounds didactic session with an 8:00 am 30-min session, conducted before work rounds, on weekdays from July 2003 through December 2003. The residents' end-of-rotation examination scores were used to assess the impact on education. The pilot period residents' examination results were compared with the examination results from July 2002 through December 2002. To evaluate the effect on patient care, the Acute Physiology Score, Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score, and predicted and observed lengths of MICU and hospital stay of all patients during these two study periods were abstracted and compared. Forty-eight residents were included in each period of the study. The residents' performance on the examination at the end of MICU rotation improved when the didactic session was moved to 8:00 am (67.9 +/- 13.8 vs. 73.9 +/- 12.1; p = .0270). The statistically significant improvement was limited to the first-year residents. There were 751 and 903 patients, respectively, admitted to the MICU during the 2002 and 2003 study periods. There were no significant differences in Acute Physiology Score and Acute Physiology and Chronic Health Evaluation III score between patients admitted during the two study periods. The observed hospital mortality rate was lower during the second period. There were no statistically significant differences in the adjusted length of MICU and hospital stay between the two periods.

CONCLUSION: Early morning didactic sessions improve the educational experience of internal medicine residents rotating in the MICU without compromising patient care.

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