A new AHRQ-funded study on the relationship between physician work schedules and performance found that mathematical modeling provides an approach that may help residency programs analyze and redesign work schedules. Using a mathematical model to explore the effects of circadian rhythms and length of time awake on performance and alertness, researchers simulated two traditional schedules and three novel schedules. Among resident physicians on novel work schedules (with shifts limited to 16 hours), the model predicted less poor performance and more alertness when compared with traditional work schedules (featuring shifts of more than 24 hours). Predicted times of worse performance and alertness were at night, which is also a time when supervision of trainees is lower. The study, “Applying Mathematical Models to Predict Resident Physician Performance and Alertness On Traditional and Novel Work Schedules,” and abstract appeared in the September issue of BMC Medical Education.
BMC Med Educ. 2016 Sep 13;16(1):239. doi: 10.1186/s12909-016-0751-9.
Applying mathematical models to predict resident physician performance and alertness on traditionaland novel work schedules.
Circadian misalignment; Intern; Modeling; Physician-in-training; Resident; Sleep deprivation