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Thursday, February 2nd 2012

Neurosurgery Residents Oppose Duty Hour Restrictions

A survey of more than 300 U.S. neurosurgical residents found that more than 70% felt current ACGME duty hour restrictions were negatively impacting their residency training.

This national duty hour survey of neurosurgical residents reveals considerable concern over the new ACGME proposed standards. The majority of respondents believe that the new standards will have a negative effect on their residency training. Furthermore, this survey indicates an overwhelming negative attitude toward mandated duty hour regulations among neurosurgical residents.

In some surgical specialties, the rigor of training and the hours dedicated to it are a badge of honor. Especially when faced with those, your very mentors and faculty, who have gone before you who have had to endure a training regiment without duty hour protections.

I adamantly oppose the duty hours. I’m all for a reevaluation of common program training guidelines more tailored to surgical specialties, including duty hour guidelines, more focused on surgical specialties; as in breaking off the surgical specialties and forming an Accreditation Council on Graduate Surgical Education. And I’m not surprised a specialty like neurosurgery, a small community, that has, over its history, taken pride in the difficulty and rigor of its training would have residents who feel similiarly and strongly oppose the duty hour restrictions. I imagine aversion to the duty hour restrictions runs as strong in amongst neurosurgery residents as it does amongst residents training in any specialty.