ST. LOUIS, MO – The Dermatology Residency Program at Washington University at St. Louis has been placed on probation after it was discovered that residents had violated ACGME work-hour minimums numerous times over the last 5 years.
When work-hour restrictions were first published in 2011, the ACGME included an obscure clause detailing the minimum hours a resident must work in order to become competent in his or her specialty. Upon reading the publication, it is clear that the ACGME never intended to invoke the work-hour minimums rule, which reads as follows:
“In addition to the weekly and monthly limit to house staff work hours, interns and residents must work a minimum of 20 hours per week. HAHA. INTERNS ONLY WORKING 20 HOURS?! FUNNY! WE CAN BE FUNNY, SEE?!”
Further investigation revealed the dermatology residents were only scheduled to work 3 days per work, allowing 4 days to “decompress” from the rigors of looking at rashes between the hours of 9 and 3. “The work-hour logs are deceiving,” reports residency program director Johanna Stewart. “Most of our residents didn’t even include our morning meditation hour or our weekly contemplative complaining conference.” When you put those in, we easily cross into the 21-22 hours per week range.”
The residency program has promised to increase work hours through a variety of innovative curriculum adjustments. Residents will now be asked to end each work day with 30 minutes of uninterrupted gazing at their own skin in a mirror. In addition, Thursdays will be dedicated to practicing strategies for refusing an inpatient consult.