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Open Access Research article

A mid year comparison study of career satisfaction and emotional states between residents and faculty at one academic medical center

Donald E Girard1*, Dongseok Choi2, Jamie Dickey3, Kristen Wessel14 and Donald Austin2

  • * Corresponding author: Donald E Girard girardd@ohsu.edu

  • † Equal contributors

Author Affiliations

1 Graduate Medical Education, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA

2 Department ofPublic Health and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA

3 Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA

4 Department of Anesthesiology, School of Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, OR, USA

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BMC Medical Education 2006, 6:36  doi:10.1186/1472-6920-6-36

Published: 7 July 2006

Abstract

Background

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's (ACGME) new requirements raise multiple challenges for academic medical centers. We sought to evaluate career satisfaction, emotional states, positive and negative experiences, work hours and sleep among residents and faculty simultaneously in one academic medical center after implementation of the ACGME duty hour requirements.

Methods

Residents and faculty (1330) in the academic health center were asked to participate in a confidential survey; 72% of the residents and 66% of the faculty completed the survey.

Results

Compared to residents, faculty had higher levels of satisfaction with career choice, competence, importance and usefulness; lower levels of anxiousness and depression. The most positive experiences for both groups corresponded to strong interpersonal relationships and educational value; most negative experiences to poor interpersonal relationships and issues perceived outside of the physician's control.

Approximately 13% of the residents and 14% of the faculty were out of compliance with duty hour requirements. Nearly 5% of faculty reported working more than 100 hours per week. For faculty who worked 24 hour shifts, nearly 60% were out of compliance with the duty-hour requirements.

Conclusion

Reasons for increased satisfaction with career choice, positive emotional states and experiences for faculty compared to residents are unexplained. Earlier studies from this institution identified similar positive findings among advanced residents compared to more junior residents. Faculty are more frequently at risk for duty-hour violations. If patient safety is of prime importance, faculty, in particular, should be compliant with the duty hour requirements. Perhaps the ACGME should contain faculty work hours as part of its regulatory function.