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Curr Surg. 2006 Jan-Feb;63(1):74-9.

Impact of resident duty-hour reform on faculty clinical productivity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Washington University, Saint Louis, Missouri 63110, USA. klingensmithm@wustl.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

Prior data have shown that resident duty-hour reform has not affected faculty work hours; yet the preservation of faculty hours may have been at the expense of productivity. We sought to examine change in clinical productivity.

DESIGN:

Anonymous survey and analysis of faculty relative value units (RVU) database.

SETTING:

A single, large academic medical center.

PARTICIPANTS:

All clinical faculty in the Department of Surgery.

METHODS:

An anonymous survey was distributed to surgical faculty 18 months after reform and compared with surveys taken before and after reform. Opinions regarding productivity and working hours were solicited. P values were determined by chi-square or Student t-tests. Relative value unit data, reflecting clinical productivity, were compared before and after reform. Regression was performed with dependent variable "lnRVU" and independent variables "calendar month," "pre/post" July 2003, and "surgeon." The coefficient on "pre/post" reflected average change in RVUs.

RESULTS:

A total of 49 of 73 surveys were returned (67% response). Faculty reported an average of 68.0+/-7.0 weekly work hours (p=NS compared with previous survey). In the current survey, 35% felt their overall productivity had fallen due to reform. Among these, 83% felt academic productivity had suffered, 11% were unsure, and 1 person (6%) believed academic productivity was preserved. The majority (82%) reported preserved clinical productivity, 6% reported a decrease, and 12% were unsure. Overall, 60% reported doing work previously done by residents. When RVU data were examined, the coefficient on change pre- and post-reform indicated a 5.7% increase in productivity (p=0.005). However, this effect was driven by 5 surgeons with a greater than 75% increase in productivity, all young faculty, early in practice. Excluding these, there was no significant change (0.6% increase, p=0.77).

CONCLUSIONS:

Faculty have preserved work hours and clinical productivity, despite a tendency to take on work previously done by residents. This suggests that academic activities may have suffered.

PMID:
16373167
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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