Attending physician workload linked to lower teaching effectiveness

Attending physician workload is associated with lower teaching effectiveness and may compromise patient safety when managing new admissions, according to a new study published in the Journal of Hospital Medicine. Researchers conducted a retrospective study of 69,386 teaching evaluation items submitted by 543 internal medicine residents for 107 attending physicians who supervised inpatient teaching services from July 2, 2005 to July 1, 2011. They measured hospital service census, patient length of stay, daily admissions and discharges, and concurrent outpatient duties. They also looked at residents' evaluations of attendings to measure teaching effectiveness. As they expected, workload measures of midnight census and daily discharges were linked to lower teaching evaluation scores. Researchers recommended that residency programs include strategies to manage the workload of supervising attendings in order to optimize the learning environment. Study abstract