An Innovative Resource to Guide and Track Medical Resident Activity and Wellness During At-Home Assignments

Cureus. 2023 Jun 12;15(6):e40332. doi: 10.7759/cureus.40332. eCollection 2023 Jun.


Background and objectives Medical residents may work from home for various reasons, including study electives, isolation due to exposure to illness, or during parental leave when they choose to work at home instead of taking extended time off. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) Little Rock Family Medicine residency program recognized the need for a tool that provided residents with a list of resources and approved activities for at-home work and a means of tracking their performance in those activities. Methods The administration team at the UAMS Little Rock Family Medicine residency program custom-designed a Daily Activities Log that served multiple purposes. Family medicine residents used it to choose what activities to participate in from a comprehensive list of activities and resources including virtual conferences, recorded didactics, modules, and other online materials. The program provided the framework on the log, while residents used it to document time spent on those activities. The log also gave the program a daily update on the resident's health, as one question specifically asked about well-being. Since it was built in an electronic survey format already owned by the residency program, it was completely customizable and available at no additional cost. Results In the two years covered by this project, residents logged a total of 593 hours of at-home work. In response to a survey, 76% of participating residents (N=14) rated the log as extremely or very easy to use; 64% indicated that it was a helpful resource; and 50% said that it simplified the reporting of their daily status. The residency program faculty found that having one source to track all off-site residents was an efficient means of monitoring their well-being and their work. Conclusions The Daily Activities Log is a versatile tool that provides comprehensive information, resources, and approved activities for residents, documents their work, and provides updates to residency management. It can be readily modified for use in other programs that have residents working at home.

Keywords: documenting work; medical resident education; parental leave; residency program resources; work from home.