The 80- hour work week for residents: views from obstetric and gynecology program directors

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In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education mandated an 80-hour work week restriction for residency programs. We examined program directors’ views on how this mandate affects the education of Obstetrics and Gynecology residents. A 25 question survey was administered via Survey Monkey to Obstetrics and Gynecology program directors in the United States over three months in 2011. Fifty program directors (response rate of 28%) completed it with more men (62%) than women (38%) respondents. Overall, only 28% (14/50) responded that the program had improved, with significantly fewer men (5/14; 16.1%) than women (47.4% 9/19; p<0.0169) directors reporting this. There was little perceived improvement in any of the six core ACGME performance objectives and in the CREOG scores, with the improvement ranging from 8% to 12%. In fact, while we observed the percentage of women directors reporting improvement in patient care and interpersonal and communication skills significantly higher compared with their male counterparts, the majority of women still reported either no improvement or a decline in these areas. Though our sample size was small, we found some significant difference between the views of male and female program directors. Both groups nonetheless responded with the majority with a decline or no change rather than a perceived improvement in any of the educational endeavors studied.