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A National Survey of Surgical Residents’ Perception of 2011 ACGME Duty Hours Regulations
*Brian C. Drolet, *Suma Sangisetty, Thomas F. Tracy, William G. Cioffi
Rhode Island Hospital, Providence, RI

Objective: To assess surgical residents’ perspectives of 2011 ACGME Regulation of Duty Hours and Supervision.

Design: Designated Institutional Officials (DIO) at all ACGME-accredited institutions (N=682) were asked to distribute an electronic survey to residents in December 2011. Twenty questions were asked to assess the perceived impact of ACGME regulations on resident education, quality of life and patient care.

Setting: Academic and community teaching hospitals.

Patients or Other Participants: Residents at all ACGME-accredited institutions were eligible to participate. After a minimum of two email attempts, 123 DIOs agreed to participate and 33 refused. Participating DIOs distributed the survey to 26,581 residents; there were 4140 surgical residents in this sample.

Main Outcome Measure(s): Surgical resident perceptions.

Results: A large, demographically representative sample of residents (n = 1010, 24.4% response rate) responded to the survey. Most residents believe that education (55.2%), preparation for senior roles (68.2%), and work schedules (50.2%) are worse this year. Residents feel there is no change in availability of supervision (80.0%), safety of patient care (57.9%), or their amount of rest (57.6%). While quality of life is perceived as better for interns (61.7%), most feel it is worse for senior residents (53.8%). Finally, a majority report increased hand-offs (78.2%) and a shift of junior level responsibilities to senior residents (68.7%).

Conclusions: The majority of surgical residents surveyed disapprove of the 2011 ACGME Regulations (65.9%). The proposed benefits of increased ACGME Regulation—improved education, patient care and quality of life—have ostensibly not borne out in surgical training, except perhaps for interns. It may be difficult for residents, particularly in surgical fields, to learn and care for patients under the current ACGME regulations.

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