Surgical Residency Revamped

The days of surgery “boot camp” may be over. To avoid reaccreditation problems, Yale-New Haven Hospital is shifting to a maximum work week of 80 hours for its 48 general surgery residents. The Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education warned the hospital in March that it must reduce work weeks; end every-other-night, in-house call; and improve documentation of procedures done by residents. (The general surgery residency, one of 28 at Yale-New Haven, has had provisional accreditation since obtaining new-program status when combining with Bridgeport Hospital’s general surgery program in 1995.) The hospital plans to hire physician assistants and part-time doctors to reduce overnights for residents. Chair of Surgery Robert Udelsman, M.D., predicted that the “standard practice” of 100-hour workweeks would end nationwide. “We must develop techniques to teach an ever-increasing wealth of both information and skills, and we must do this in an efficient and humane environment.” The accreditation group will check in again on August 7.


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