2013 NATIONAL RESIDENT SURVEY

Our 2013 National Resident Survey had a response rate of 22.8% and included the following topics: work hours and fatigue, patient handovers, mentorship, career counseling, transfers, and employment opportunities.

An analysis of the results yielded several key findings:

  • Concerning work hours and safety risks, more than eight in 10 respondents said that work-related fatigue had impacted their educational experience (84.2%) and work satisfaction (83.0%). Work-related fatigue also had an impact on resident’s irritability with coworkers (69.9%) and patients (54.0%), as well as on medical errors that did not reach the patient (48.7%) and those that did (29.8%).
  • On the issue of patient handovers, more than four in five (82.3%) respondents said that their main method for doing handovers was face-to-face; however, the majority (70.3%) of respondents who used this method indicated it was not a standardized process for their residency program. Other main methods cited by respondents for doing patient handover included over the phone (34.0%), electronic shared documents (28.9%), email (13.5%) and handwritten (8.9%).
  • Asked about the primary method of career counselling received during their residency, nearly three in 10 respondents (27.9%) had not received any career counselling, while half (52.9%) had received informal career counselling. Only small numbers of residents had received formal career counselling that was either specialty-specific (10.1%) or generalized (6.3%).
  • Asked what steps they had taken to address any inappropriate behaviour they had witnessed or experienced, more than a third of respondents (32.3%) indicated that no steps had been taken. For those who said they did not take any steps to address the inappropriate behaviour, the most commonly cited reasons were that they did not believe it would not change or remedy the situation (34.1%) and fear of reprisal (21%).

Combined with our 2012 survey results, these research findings are being used to support policy development and advocacy efforts.