2011 ACGME duty hour week proposal—a national survey of family medicine residents

Vincent Lo, Coburn Ward
Family Medicine 2011, 43 (5): 318-24

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: In July 2010, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) published its proposed duty-hour regulations. We conducted a national online survey to assess current family medicine residents' perceptions of the proposed changes.

METHODS: A 27-question survey was used to assess four ACGME proposal domains: resident supervision, 80-duty-hour week, maximum duty-period length, and maximum frequency of in-hospital duty. Additionally, we surveyed opinions on reasonable weekly work hours, under-reporting practice, and residents' activities during hours off, residents' perceptions of their program's ability to comply with future duty-hour regulations, and their overall satisfactions. Members of the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD) were invited to send the survey Web link to their residents.

RESULTS: Out of 720 respondents, 30% supported revision of current duty-hour work rules; 58% disagreed with limiting interns' working hours to 16 hours per day; 48% perceived revision of resident supervision favorably; 26% expressed concern about continuing the current 80-duty-hour week rule; 75% supported limiting night duty to six consecutive nights; 83% agreed that reasonable resident weekly work hours should be 60-80 hours; and 18% admitted under-reporting of duty hours. Residents' hours off activities varied. Only 57% believed that their program will be able to implement the new changes effectively. Overall satisfaction with the future duty-hour rules were mixed: very satisfied (7%), satisfied (24%), somewhat satisfied (27%), unsatisfied (23%), and very unsatisfied (18%).

CONCLUSIONS: Support for the proposed ACGME duty-hour regulations was mixed among current family medicine residents. Respondents and residency program directors shared similar concerns about some of the recommended changes.

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