, Volume 3, Issue 5, pp 391-398,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 20 May 2014

Creating an educationally minded schedule: one approach to minimize the impact of duty hour standards on intern continuity clinic experience

Abstract

To determine if implementing an educationally minded schedule utilizing consecutive night shifts can moderate the impact of the 2011 duty hour standards on education and patient continuity of care in longitudinal primary care experience (continuity clinic). A 14-month pre–post study was performed in continuity clinic with one supervising physician group and two intern groups. Surveys to assess attitudes and education were distributed to the supervising physicians and interns before and after the changes in duty hour standards. Intern groups’ schedules were reviewed for the number of regular and alternative day clinic (i.e. primary care experience on a different weekday) sessions and patient continuity of care. Fifteen supervising physicians and 51 interns participated (25 in 2011, 26 in 2012). Intern groups’ comfort when discussing patient issues, educational needs and teamwork perception did not differ. Supervising physicians’ understanding of learning needs and provision of feedback did not differ between groups. Supervising physicians indicated a greater ability to provide feedback and understand learning needs during regular continuity clinic sessions compared with alternative day clinics (all p < 0.05). No significant difference was detected between intern groups in the number of regularly scheduled continuity clinics, alternative day clinics or patient continuity of care. The 2011 duty hour standards required significant alterations to intern schedules, but educationally minded scheduling limited impact on education and patient continuity in care.