Concept: Medical education
Surgical training has always been hard on residents. During my own residency more than 20 years ago, 100-hour workweeks and in-house call every other night were routine. A resident’s life outside the hospital was simply not a priority. Residency may be even harder on patients. A large body of research has linked sleep deprivation in resident physicians to poor performance in neurobehavioral testing and, more alarmingly, to higher rates of attention failure in patient care.(1),(2) Reacting to concerns about both resident well-being and patient safety, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) implemented duty-hour reforms in 2003 that . . .
Physical activity (PA) is a key component of healthy lifestyle and disease prevention. In contrast, physical inactivity accounts for a significant proportion of premature deaths worldwide. Physicians are in a critical position to help patients develop healthy lifestyles by actively counseling on PA. Sports medicine physicians, with their focus on sports and exercise medicine are uniquely trained to provide such expertise to patients, learners and colleagues. To succeed, physicians need clinical tools and processes that support PA assessment and counseling. Linking patients to community resources, and specifically to health and fitness professionals is a key strategy. Efforts should be made to expand provider education during medical school, residency and fellowship training, and continuing medical education. Lastly, physically active physicians are more likely to counsel patients to be active. A key message for the sports medicine community is the importance of serving as a positive PA role model.
Background Concern persists that inflexible duty-hour rules in medical residency programs may adversely affect the training of physicians. Methods We randomly assigned 63 internal medicine residency programs in the United States to be governed by standard duty-hour policies of the 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) or by more flexible policies that did not specify limits on shift length or mandatory time off between shifts. Measures of educational experience included observations of the activities of interns (first-year residents), surveys of trainees (both interns and residents) and faculty, and intern examination scores. Results There were no significant between-group differences in the mean percentages of time that interns spent in direct patient care and education nor in trainees' perceptions of an appropriate balance between clinical demands and education (primary outcome for trainee satisfaction with education; response rate, 91%) or in the assessments by program directors and faculty of whether trainees' workload exceeded their capacity (primary outcome for faculty satisfaction with education; response rate, 90%). Another survey of interns (response rate, 49%) revealed that those in flexible programs were more likely to report dissatisfaction with multiple aspects of training, including educational quality (odds ratio, 1.67; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02 to 2.73) and overall well-being (odds ratio, 2.47; 95% CI, 1.67 to 3.65). In contrast, directors of flexible programs were less likely to report dissatisfaction with multiple educational processes, including time for bedside teaching (response rate, 98%; odds ratio, 0.13; 95% CI, 0.03 to 0.49). Average scores (percent correct answers) on in-training examinations were 68.9% in flexible programs and 69.4% in standard programs; the difference did not meet the noninferiority margin of 2 percentage points (difference, -0.43; 95% CI, -2.38 to 1.52; P=0.06 for noninferiority). Conclusions There was no significant difference in the proportion of time that medical interns spent on direct patient care and education between programs with standard duty-hour policies and programs with more flexible policies. Interns in flexible programs were less satisfied with their educational experience than were their peers in standard programs, but program directors were more satisfied. (Funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and the ACGME; iCOMPARE ClinicalTrials.gov number, NCT02274818 .).
Physicians frequently use continuing medical education (CME) in journals. However, little is known of the evaluation of journal CME by readers and also user and participation characteristics. Deutsches Ärzteblatt, the journal of the German Medical Association, is distributed to every physician in Germany and regularly offers its readers CME articles. Therefore, it provides a unique opportunity to analyze a journal CME program directed at an entire population of physicians.
Death certificates contain critical information for epidemiology, public health research, disease surveillance, and community health programs. In most teaching hospitals, resident physicians complete death certificates. The objective of this study was to examine the experiences and opinions of physician residents in New York City on the accuracy of the cause-of-death reporting system.
Financial relationships between pharmaceutical manufacturers and health care professionals remain controversial. Some interactions, such as those involving research and exchange of expertise, promote the development and study of new drugs; by contrast, payments in the form of meals and continuing medical education (CME) programs have been criticized for being promotional and have been linked to non-evidence-based prescribing practices. The prevalence of these relationships has been estimated from national physician surveys, which found that, across seven specialties, about 83% of physicians received gifts from industry (excluding samples) in 2004. The prevalence has decreased slightly in recent years: a 2009 survey showed . . .
The stigmatization of people with obesity is widespread and causes harm. Weight stigma is often propagated and tolerated in society because of beliefs that stigma and shame will motivate people to lose weight. However, rather than motivating positive change, this stigma contributes to behaviors such as binge eating, social isolation, avoidance of health care services, decreased physical activity, and increased weight gain, which worsen obesity and create additional barriers to healthy behavior change. Furthermore, experiences of weight stigma also dramatically impair quality of life, especially for youth. Health care professionals continue to seek effective strategies and resources to address the obesity epidemic; however, they also frequently exhibit weight bias and stigmatizing behaviors. This policy statement seeks to raise awareness regarding the prevalence and negative effects of weight stigma on pediatric patients and their families and provides 6 clinical practice and 4 advocacy recommendations regarding the role of pediatricians in addressing weight stigma. In summary, these recommendations include improving the clinical setting by modeling best practices for nonbiased behaviors and language; using empathetic and empowering counseling techniques, such as motivational interviewing, and addressing weight stigma and bullying in the clinic visit; advocating for inclusion of training and education about weight stigma in medical schools, residency programs, and continuing medical education programs; and empowering families to be advocates to address weight stigma in the home environment and school setting.
The transition from medical school to residency is a critical step in the careers of physicians. Because of the standardized application process-wherein schools submit summative Medical Student Performance Evaluations (MSPE’s)-it also represents a unique opportunity to assess the possible prevalence of racial and gender disparities, as shown elsewhere in medicine.
BACKGROUND: Resident remediation is required for all residents who do not meet minimum standards in one or more of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education core competencies. The Council of Residency Directors in Emergency Medicine Remediation Taskforce identified the need for case-based examples of remediation efforts. OBJECTIVES: 1) To describe a complicated resident remediation case and employ consensus panel evaluation of the process. 2) To discuss the available assessment tools (including neuropsychologic/medical testing), due process, documentation, reassessment, and relevant barriers to implementation for this and other resident remediations. DISCUSSION: Details of a remediation case were altered to protect resident confidentiality, and then presented to a multidisciplinary group of program directors. The case details, action plan, and course were submitted and the remediation process, action plan, and course are assessed based on a standardized remediation approach. The resident entered remediation for poor organizational skills and an inability to make or follow through with patient care plans. Opportunities for improvement in the applied remediation process are identified and discussed. Legal concerns and utility of neuropsychological assessment of residents are reviewed. CONCLUSIONS: Remediation requires a complicated and detailed effort. This case demonstrates issues that program directors may face when working with residents and provides suggestions for use of specific remediation tools.
Headlines have previously acknowledged the risk of a “bubble and crash” phenomenon in the physician workforce pipeline. A growing number of medical career dissatisfiers, including emotional and physical burnout, loss of autonomy and burdensome regulations, compound the longstanding fundamental issue of the prohibitive direct and opportunity costs associated with medical training. For U.S. medical education and, in turn, healthcare to remain robust and high-quality, creative solutions are needed to address the untenable physician debt-to-income ratios and to ensure not only that the quantity and quality of medical school aspirants remains favorable to the profession, but that the profession remains responsible to its future members. Creating fiscally healthy physicians is a societal imperative.