Purpose:

Carle Illinois College of Medicine (Carle Illinois) provides and supports the maximum educational benefit in curricular activities for all Carle Illinois students. However, it is important to ensure that contact and duty hours are monitored to ensure student wellness, lifelong learning practice habits and patient safety. Carle Illinois aligns with and follows guidelines provided by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) and other accreditation and regulatory bodies.

Processes/Procedures/Guidelines:

1. Contact Hours and Required Activities in Phase 1

1.1. In Phase 1 of the curriculum, scheduled activities and required preparatory assignments (e.g. readings, online modules) will average no more than twenty-six (26) hours per week.

1.2. The maximum number of scheduled activities and required preparatory assignments should be no more than twenty-eight (28) hours per week.

1.3. Each week, unscheduled time should include at least two four-hour blocks whenever possible to maximize students’ ability to engage in self-directed learning and exploration.

2. Duty Hours in Phase 2 and Phase 3

2.1. In Phase 2 and Phase 3 of the curriculum, student duty hours should conform to the current Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) standards applied to resident education.

2.1.1. Students should not exceed an AVERAGE eighty (80) hour weekly schedule across any four week period.

2.1.2. All required clinical and scheduled educational and assessment activities are to be included in the duty hour estimates, including in-house call.  Students should not be required to exceed sixteen (16) continuous duty hours. Students should have ten (10) hours, and must have eight (8) hours, free of duty between scheduled duty periods.[1]

2.1.3. Students must be allowed one (1) full day off in seven (7) or two (2) full days off in fourteen (14) days. Teaching days, examination days, and other scheduled educational activities do not count as days off.

2.1.4. Students must not be required to complete overnight call on the evening prior to an examination or performance-based assessment.

2.1.5. Clerkship and elective directors are responsible for reviewing and approving student schedules and any requested exceptions to the duty hour’s rules. The Curriculum Oversight Committee will monitor adherence to the duty hour policy and frequency of exceptions made.

Exceptions:

Limited and carefully justified exceptions to this policy may be permissible. It is recognized that students do not work the consistently demanding and lengthy hours of resident physicians. In addition, their educational experiences in many areas are of limited duration. Maximizing their opportunity to experience some clinical or educational opportunities may from time to time justify exceeding the normal duty hours policy. Examples of justifiable exceptions might include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Prescheduled educational conferences or ‘rounds’ that must occur beyond the 16 hour limit.
  • A student-initiated request to participate in or observe a medical activity or procedure (e.g. surgery, diagnostic study, specialty consult or treatment, etc.) that must occur beyond the 16 continuous hours or 80 total hour policies.
  • A student-initiated request to waive or alter the ‘days off’ policy in order to accommodate a special event (e.g. attend a special conference, attend a wedding, birth, or funeral, etc.) or ensure continuity of care or experience with a particularly valuable or interesting clinical case.

It is anticipated that such exceptions will be infrequently invoked. Any regularly anticipated exceptions must be reviewed and approved by the Curriculum Oversight Committee