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Resident Duty Hours

This policy and procedure describes resident duty hours for the Department of Surgery at Temple University Hospital.

It is the philosophy of the Department of Surgery at Temple University Hospital that graduate education in surgery requires a commitment to continuity of patient care. For this reason, it is expected that residents will participate in the preoperative, operative and postoperative care of their patients. This continuity of care does take precedence over any on-call schedule.

However, it is also a priority in the Department of Surgery at Temple University Hospital to train residents in an environment that is optimal for resident education and patient care.

Duty hours will be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of all in-house call activities. In-house call will occur no more frequently than every third night, averaged over a four-week period. Continuous on-site duty, including in-house call, must not exceed 24 consecutive hours. Residents may remain on duty for up to 4 additional hours to participate in didactic activities, maintain continuity of medical and surgical care, transfer care of patients or conduct outpatient continuity clinics. No new patients may be accepted after 24 hours of continuous duty. Residents must have 8 hours free between shifts. Residents will be provided with 1 day in 7 free from all educational and clinical responsibilities averaged over a four- week period. One day is defined as one continuous 24-hour period free from all clinical, educational, and administrative activities.

Duty periods for PGY-1 residents must not exceed 16 hours in duration.

PGY-1 residents must have direct supervision until competence is demonstrated. Competence will be demonstrated by:

  • Successful completion of selected ACS-Fundamentals of Surgery Curriculum modules
  • Successful evaluation and management of patients in the urgent or emergent situation and post-operative complications
  • Successful performance of selected procedures
  • ATLS certification
  • ACLS certification

All residents are required to keep track of their duty hours. Duty hours are to be logged onto New Innovations online and submitted by the fifth day of the next month following the rotation. It is the responsibility of the Chief/Senior residents on each service to ensure resident compliance with duty hours. If a resident is not compliant by the end of the month, they will be removed from clinical duty and sent home until the resident is compliant with the duty hours policy and procedures. If this suspension exceeds 24 hours (cumulative for year), it will be deducted from vacation time.

In accordance with the institutional policy, residents are given meals when on call as well as an on call room.

In the event that any resident experiences fatigue that is interfering with his/her ability to safely perform his/her duties, they are strongly encouraged and obligated to report this to his/her senior resident or attending surgeon on service. Appropriate coverage will be arranged as well as any other necessary support. Attending surgeons and surgical residents are instructed to closely observe residents for any signs of undue stress and/or fatigue. This should be immediately reported to the supervising attending and/or Program Director. The resident will be relieved of his/her duties until the effects of fatigue are no longer present. They will also be provided with any other necessary support.

Residents are given three weeks vacation a year. In their chief year, residents are given additional time to attend a surgical conference of their choice.

The institutional policy addresses Sick Time, Funeral Leave, Maternity and Paternity Leave.

Residency Policies and Procedures

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Resident Evaluation of Surgical Faculty and Surgical Residency Program

This policy and procedure delineates the Department of Surgery policy for the evaluation of the surgical faculty and the surgical residency program. Residents will fill out an anonymous evaluation of each attending on their respective service at the end of the rotation. This will be performed on-line. Evaluations will be compiled by the residency coordinator and submitted to the Chairman and Program Director. These evaluations will be discussed with the departmental faculty at least semiannually.

All residents are also expected to anonymously evaluate the residency program. This will be done on-line as well. Rotations, conferences, and hospital services, will be evaluated. This provides a confidential means of evaluation. These evaluations are reviewed and used to improve the residency program.

Resident Supervision

This policy and procedure delineates the mechanisms for acceptable supervision of surgical residents at Temple University Hospital.

It is the policy of the Department of Surgery at Temple University Hospital that all surgical residents, regardless of level of training, be supervised by a faculty member in all clinical activities.

It is the philosophy of the Department of Surgery at Temple University Hospital that all patients on the surgical services, either inpatient or outpatient, be assigned an attending surgeon who is responsible for that patient. The attending surgeon has both an ethical and legal responsibility for the overall care of the patient and for the supervision of the residents involved in the care of that patient.

Proper supervision takes into account the care of the patient as well as the training of the resident to participate in independent decision making. The degree of supervision will vary with the clinical circumstances and the training level of the resident. These judgments will be based on the attending surgeon’s direct observation and knowledge of each resident’s skill and ability.

On those instances where the attending surgeon is not in-house, house staff are instructed on how to contact attending surgeons. All surgeons are available by pager or cell phone. The page operator and amion has available an up-to-date call schedule with attending beeper numbers and home phone numbers.

If a resident at any level finds that there is not a rapid reliable system for communicating with a supervising attending, this should be immediately reported to the Program Director or Chairperson.

Policy and Procedure on Resident Selection

This policy and procedure delineates the Temple University Hospital Department of Surgery guidelines for resident selection.

Only applicants who are eligible for entry into American College of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved graduate medical education (GME) programs shall be selected for appointment as residents in the Temple University Hospital Department of Surgery.

Eligible candidates shall include:

  • Graduates of medical schools in the United States and Canada accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME)
  • Graduates of colleges of osteopathic medicine in the United States accredited by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA)
  • Graduates of medical schools outside the United States and Canada who meet one of the following qualifications:
    • Have received a currently valid certificate from the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates (ECFMG) or
    • Have a full and unrestricted license to practice medicine in a United States licensing jurisdiction.

At the time of entry into the residency training program the candidate must be a citizen of the United States or hold a visa, which is acceptable for graduate medical education.

At the time of entry into the residency training program the resident must posses a valid graduate medical training license issued by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Applicants shall be selected without regard to race, color, sex, age, religion, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, veteran or marital status.

The Surgical Residency Program of Temple University Hospital subscribes to the National Resident Matching Program (NRMP) system. The rules that govern NRMP participation for both matched and unmatched positions are followed.

Screening methods used to select residents are based on the National Board scores as well as educational preparation for graduate medical education and academic credentials in medical school.

A few interview dates are selected to provide applicants the opportunity to attend. Applicants are interviewed by surgical faculty members and/or senior surgical residents. Each applicant has two interviews. The faculty may be either from Temple University Hospital Department of Surgery or faculty members of the affiliate hospitals.

A standardized grading system is used which takes into consideration academic background and performance, membership in Alpha Omega Alpha, medical school transcript, extracurricular activities, letters of recommendations, scientific publications and presentations, and interaction with the interviewer. Selection will also consider communication and interpersonal skills and personal qualities such as motivation and integrity.

At the end of each interview session, each applicant is discussed and given one grade. After all applicants have been interviewed, a separate day is selected where the faculty assigns a rank to each prospective resident. The core-teaching faculty makes a final review of the rank list, which is then signed off on and submitted to the NRMP.

Guidelines for Non-Resident Surgical Service (NRSS)

  1. The core values of the Temple Department of Surgery include quality, respect, safety, teamwork, integrity and trust.
  2. Monday through Friday 7am until 7pm, residents and medical students will not be routinely involved in NRSS patient care in the operating room (including SPU and prep/hold), on the floors (e.g. 9W, 5E), in the ER, or in the clinic.  An exception may be made for life threatening emergencies.
  3. SICU patients on the NRSS will be cared for by the SICU team (attendings, residents, nurses) as they are now.  To the extent possible, communication regarding patient care in the SICU should be between NRSS attendings and SICU attendings or nurses.
  4. Communication is important for good patient care.  Appropriate sign out between the covering resident team and the NRSS team should occur each morning and evening as necessary.  Urgent patient care issues should be communicated directly to the NRSS attending.
  5. Urgent or emergent operations at night or on the weekend will be covered by the surgical residents.  The covering resident(s) will not be required to round on these patients postoperatively; however with the permission of the NRSS attending they may follow routinely the patient during the postoperative period for educational purposes.
  6. Residents will cover the NRSS attendings when they are on call. Residents will not round on the NRSS patients on the weekend. Occasionally, they may be asked to check and report on a floor patient.
  7. Residents may be asked to perform procedures on NRSS patients (e.g. nasogastric tube insertion, CVP insertion) if necessary.
  8. NRSS attendings may offer elective rotations for surgical residents and fourth year medical students.  NRSS attendings are expected to participate in departmental conferences and meetings.