BACKGROUND: Since the 2011 Accreditation Council of Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) work hour rules for residents were implemented, 24–30 h call for interns has been replaced by shift work, including night-float. The impact of these changes on undergraduate medical education experiences in internal medicine has not been described. OBJECTIVE: We aimed to determine the current status of medical students’ overnight experiences in Internal Medicine clerkships and sub-internships, and to assess internal medicine educators’ perceptions of the importance of overnight work during internal medicine rotations. DESIGN AND PARTICIPANTS: In May 2014, the Clerkship Directors in Internal Medicine (CDIM) conducted its annual survey. Twenty-eight questions about student participation in overnight work and perceptions of the importance of overnight work (rated on 1–5 Likert scale, 1 = very unimportant and 5 = very important) were included. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize responses. Free text results were analyzed qualitatively. KEY RESULTS: The response rate was 78 %. A minority of respondents reported students having any overnight experience during the clerkship (38.7 %) or the sub-internship (40.7 %). Only 5 % of respondents reported having students assigned to night-float rotations outside of clerkships or sub-internships. Respondents agreed that overnight experiences were more important during the sub-internship than the clerkship, 4.0 ± 1.1 vs. 3.2 ± 1.2, p < 0.001. Admitting new patients, following their course and responding to emergencies were rated as important overnight tasks for both clerkship and sub-internship students. CONCLUSIONS: Overnight experiences offer students additional educational opportunities. Clerkship directors felt that the overnight experience for the sub-intern in particular was an important chance to practice providing emergency cross coverage and other intern roles. In the era of ACGME duty hours, there is a need to further examine whether there is a role for increased overnight hospital experiences for medical students.
- duty hours
- medical student