The Effect of Resident Duty-Hours Restrictions on Internal Medicine Clerkship Experiences: Surveys of Medical Students and Clerkship Directors

Jennifer R. Kogan, Jennifer Lapin, Eva Aagaard, Christy Boscardin, Meenakshy K. Aiyer, Danelle Cayea, Adam Cifu, Gretchen Diemer, Steven Durning, Michael Elnicki, Sara B. Fazio, Asra R. Khan, Valerie J. Lang, Matthew Mintz, L. James Nixon, Doug Paauw, Dario M. Torre, Karen E. Hauer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Phenomenon: Medical students receive much of their inpatient teaching from residents who now experience restructured teaching services to accommodate the 2011 duty-hour regulations (DHR). The effect of DHR on medical student educational experiences is unknown. We examined medical students’ and clerkship directors’ perceptions of the effects of the 2011 DHR on internal medicine clerkship students’ experiences with teaching, feedback and evaluation, and patient care. Approach: Students at 14 institutions responded to surveys after their medicine clerkship or subinternship. Students who completed their clerkship (n = 839) and subinternship (n = 228) March to June 2011 (pre-DHR historical controls) were compared to clerkship students (n = 895) and subinterns (n = 377) completing these rotations March to June 2012 (post-DHR). Z tests for proportions correcting for multiple comparisons were performed to assess attitude changes. The Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine annual survey queried institutional members about the 2011 DHR just after implementation. Findings: Survey response rates were 64% and 50% for clerkship students and 60% and 48% for subinterns in 2011 and 2012 respectively, and 82% (99/121) for clerkship directors. Post-DHR, more clerkship students agreed that attendings (p =.011) and interns (p =.044) provided effective teaching. Clerkship students (p =.013) and subinterns (p =.001) believed patient care became more fragmented. The percentage of holdover patients clerkship students (p =.001) and subinterns (p =.012) admitted increased. Clerkship directors perceived negative effects of DHR for students on all survey items. Most disagreed that interns (63.1%), residents (67.8%), or attendings (71.1%) had more time to teach. Most disagreed that students received more feedback from interns (56.0%) or residents (58.2%). Fifty-nine percent felt that students participated in more patient handoffs. Insights: Students perceive few adverse consequences of the 2011 DHR on their internal medicine experiences, whereas their clerkship director educators have negative perceptions. Future research should explore the impact of fragmented patient care on the student–patient relationship and students’ clinical skills acquisition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-50
Number of pages14
JournalTeaching and Learning in Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2015


  • clinical training
  • duty-hours regulations
  • medical student education


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