Drolet BC, Whittle SB, Khokhar MT, Fischer SA, Pallant A. Approval and perceived impact of duty hour regulations: survey of pediatric program directors. Pediatrics. 2013 Nov;132(5):819-24.
OBJECTIVES: To determine pediatric program director (PD) approval and perception of changes to resident training and patient care resulting from 2011 Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) Common Program Requirements.
METHODS: All US pediatric PDs (n = 181) were identified from the ACGME. Functional e-mail addresses were identified for 164 (90.6%). Three individualized e-mail requests were sent to each PD to complete an anonymous 32-question Web-based survey.
RESULTS: A total of 151 responses were obtained (83.4%). Pediatrics PDs reported approval for nearly all of the 2011 ACGME duty hour regulations except for 16-hour intern shift limits (72.2% disapprove). Regarding the perceived impact of the new standards, many areas were reportedly unchanged, but most PDs reported negative effects on resident education (74.7%), preparation for senior roles (79.9%), resident ownership of patients (76.8%), and continuity of care (78.8%). There was a reported increase in PD workload (67.6%) and use of physician extenders (62.7%). Finally, only 48.3% of PDs reported that their residents are “always” compliant with 2011 requirements.
CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric PDs think there have been numerous negative consequences of the 2011 Common Program Requirements. These include declines in resident education and preparation to take on more senior roles, as well as diminished resident accountability and continuity of care. Although they support individual aspects of duty hour regulation, almost three-quarters of pediatric PDs say there should be fewer regulations. The opinions expressed by PDs in this study should prompt research using quantitative metrics to assess the true impact of duty hour regulations.