Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 20

Resident liFe

Rachel Sachs, D.O.
Family Medicine Resident
Penn State Health St. Joseph

T

alk to any medical resident about how much they work and you will get
answers from "it's not too bad" to "all-day everyday." Unlike the average
American work week, medical residents will work an average of 60-80
hours a week including shifts on weekends, nights, and holidays. Although this
allows time for a lot of hands-on learning and education, working long hours
without many breaks can result in fatigue, stress, illness, and loss of connection
with family and friends, to name a few.
However, medicine and residency life have changed over the years.
Prior to 1980 there were no regulations on hours. After research was done on
performance in response to long hours the Accreditation Council for Graduate
Medical Education (ACGME) included "the need for time for education and
personal pursuits" as a part of the program requirements for Internal Medicine
and Pediatrics. In 1988 recommendations from ACGME Task Force for
Resident Hours and Supervision put out standards for all accredited programs.
1. One day in seven away from the hospital
2. On-call duty in the hospital no more frequently than every 3rd night
3. Adequate back-up if sudden and unexpected patient care needs create
resident fatigue sufficient to jeopardize patient care
4. Institutional policies to ensure that all residents are adequately
supervised with reliable methods of communication between residents and
supervising physicians
5. 10 hours minimum in between each shift

20

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Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017

Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 1
Berks County Medical Society Medical Record Summer 2017 - 2
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