First-year doctors, or interns, spend 87 percent of their work time away from patients, half of which is spent interacting with electronic health records, according to a new study from researchers at Penn Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. Of the 13 percent of time spent interacting with patients face-to-face, much of that is still spent multitasking. As the largest study to look at how young doctors spend their work day, this research sought to understand what medical residents did while in training, such as how much time they spent in education and patient care. The study was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.
“This objective look at how interns spend their time during the work day reveals a previously hidden picture of how young physicians are trained, and the reality of medical practice today,” says lead author Krisda Chaiyachati, an assistant professor of medicine in the Perelman School of Medicine. “Our study can help residency program leaders take stock of what their interns are doing and consider whether the time and processes are right for developing the physicians we need tomorrow.”
Attempting to gauge the time doctors-in-training spend during their shifts, this research is a part of a larger effort known as the Individualized Comparative Effectiveness of Models Optimizing Patient Safety and Resident Education (iCOMPARE) study. This multi-year study, funded by the National Institute of Health and the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, seeks to better understand the effects of shift lengths on young doctors and their patients.
Read more at Penn Medicine News.