The new duty hour regulation from the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) that limits first-year residents to 16-hour shifts has drawn a conflicted chorus of reactions from attendings, who have only seven months before the stipulation goes into effect.
Explore this issue:November 2010
Some otolaryngologists view the move ambivalently, seeing it as a natural extension of the landmark 2003 rules that capped most resident workweeks at 80 hours and required one day off in seven from all education and clinical activities. Others view it as yet another rule that chips away at how well prepared the next generation of residents will be.
Regardless of viewpoint, residency program directors have little time to prepare for the changes, which were formally adopted in late September and go into effect July 1. Because otolaryngology residents typically spend one to three months of their first year in the otolaryngology service, several program directors have said that the effect of the duty hour modification for post-graduate year one (PGY-1) residents may be muted on the physical ENT rotation. It could cause scheduling issues with other rotations the resident is on in that year, however, including anesthesiology and general surgery.