Inpatient staffing within pediatric residency programs: work hour restrictions and the evolving role of the pediatric hospitalist

J Hosp Med. 2012 Apr;7(4):299-303. doi: 10.1002/jhm.952. Epub 2011 Oct 28.


Objective: In October 2010, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) mandated new standards that will further restrict resident work hours. There is growing concern surrounding the impact these restrictions will have on the staffing of inpatient services. The objective of this study was to survey the landscape of pediatric resident coverage of noncritical care inpatient teaching services prior to the implementation of these guidelines. In addition, we sought to explore how changes in work hour restrictions might affect the role of pediatric hospitalists in training programs.

Methods: In January 2010, an institutional review board (IRB)-approved electronic survey was sent to 196 US residency training programs via the Association of Pediatric Program Directors (APPD) listserve.

Results: One hundred twenty responses were received representing 5201 pediatric residents. Of the programs that responded, 84% have hospitalists. At programs with hospitalists (n = 97), 24% have pediatric hospitalist attendings in-house at night. Nearly a quarter of responding programs (22%) reported having no attending physicians in-house at night. At the time of our survey, 31% of programs anticipated the addition of 24-hour in-house hospitalist coverage within the next 5 years. When the additional work hour restrictions are implemented, 70% of programs anticipated the need to add additional hospitalist coverage at night.

Conclusions: Significant variation exists in how pediatric teaching services provide overnight coverage. While hospitalists are prevalent in pediatric training programs (84% overall, 67% day only), their role in direct patient care during the overnight hours has been limited thus far. New work hour restrictions will promote the need for more hospitalists.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection / methods
  • Hospitalists / methods*
  • Hospitalists / trends
  • Hospitals, Pediatric* / trends
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency / methods*
  • Internship and Residency / trends
  • Pediatrics / methods*
  • Pediatrics / trends
  • Personnel Staffing and Scheduling* / trends
  • Workload*