How to Keep Restricted Resident In-Training Hours from Derailing Residency Education Program Success
Restrictions to resident duty hours or resident in-training work hours were created to help residents in training, but they create hardships for program directors seeking to train residents successfully with limited time. Today’s resident work restrictions call for smarter solutions regarding “anytime” resident education and performance evaluation.
The Problem with Restricted Resident In-Training Hours
ACGME duty hours were restricted in mid-2017 over concerns of resident exhaustion. However, some say the current era of hour restrictions for residents has negatively affected physician training – that with restrictions to “training time” residents are less prepared to be effective doctors upon graduation.
If the goal is to have well-rested residents, restricted hours actually don’t seem to make a difference. One study showed restricted hours led to an increase in burnout possibly because of an increase in workload intensity. Other studies show that residents tend to sleep short hours – and thus don’t get the intended relief – even when working much shorter shifts.
Book learning and using Up To Date is really no substitute for experience under pressure. Today’s residents are graduating with far fewer cases than before the hour restrictions. Some programs have had to extend the residency to allow the residents to qualify for their boards.
“Today’s residents are graduating with far fewer cases than before the hour restrictions.”
Residency directors are struggling to find ways to adequately train residents due to restricted training hours, but there is an effective solution.
How can you ensure residents are appropriately trained and proficient given restricted in-training hours?
If resident and program director schedules are so cramped today, then residency program should look at solutions where rotation-based education and performance evaluation can be achieved effectively outside of “together time.”
Leading online medical distance learning platforms such as Med-Challenger give program directors a way to push learning activities to residents for adaptive knowledge assessment, assignment controls, automatic remediation, and on-demand performance analysis.
Med-Challenger’s library of specialized residency courseware includes thousands of case-based questions and answers with full explanations – supplying your residents with additional case presentations they probably won’t see – or won’t have time to see – in live training. With online education, residents don’t have to be restricted in potential uptake due to reduced duty hours.
Since materials are online and accessible 24/7 to everyone, program directors can apply online adjunct education on your schedule to offset limits in live instruction time – and you’ll still have a “training connection” with each resident as they progress via online dashboards, schedules, and performance metrics.
Med-Challenger has been providing online education services to residencies for two decades. Our all-in-one residency education platform is designed for program directors and the problems residency programs, their faculty, and residents face every day.
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