Radiologists Respond to Report on Resident Issues

Points include supervision with teleradiology, breaks following consecutive night-float shifts

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- The response from the radiology community to a 2008 Institute of Medicine report containing recommendations on resident duty hours, supervision and caseloads is the subject of an article in the January issue of the Journal of the American College of Radiology.

Martha B. Mainiero, M.D., of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, R.I., and colleagues discuss the duty hour requirements for residents that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) instituted in 2003. The IOM report focused on providing residents with regular sleep by lowering maximum shift lengths, providing more time off between shifts, and restricting the number of consecutive nights on duty.

Representatives from a number of radiology organizations prepared a joint response. With regards to the IOM's recommendation for direct on-site resident supervision, they felt that teleradiology should be considered direct supervision. They also felt that residents are more likely to get a full weekend off under current ACGME requirements. In addition, the representatives addressed night-float shifts, which are common in radiology programs.

"The IOM's recommendations call for 48 hours off after three consecutive night-float shifts. Therefore, to have residents take the same number of night-float shifts, the residents would be away from important educational activities of the department more often (estimated at about 50 percent more often than the current system). The radiology response therefore recommends a maximum of five or six consecutive shifts followed by 48 hours off," the authors write.

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