Dempsey S. Springfield, MD

Director's Corner
Dempsey S. Springfield, MD

Remember me? For those alumni who were here between 1987 and 1996 you might remember I was on the MGH staff working with Henry Mankin and Mark Gebhardt. In early 1996 I left for a ten year term in New York City but once released I made my way back to the MGH with the help of Fran Hornicek and Harry Rubash. The next thing you know I have been selected to assume the position of Program Director and try to fill the large shoes left by Jim Herndon. The first item is to thank Jim for all he did for the residency program and residents during his tenure. He made significant improvements in the program and kept the program up to date with all the changes required by the ACGME. I will do my best to continue his progress.

In May of this year we had the site visit by the ACGME that Dr. Herndon mentioned in last year’s Journal. Residency programs are under considerable pressure to adhere to duty hours. Many of you have no idea what that means, so let me explain. In 1984 a young woman was dropped off at an emergency room in New York City for what her parents thought was just a bad case of the flu. During the early morning hours she died without having been seen by an attending physician. The residents were initially thought to have made major mistakes due to fatigue and although subsequently it was decided that fatigue did not play a role in the tragic events, the incident lead to a commission lead by Bertram Bell, MD to establish controls on the hours that residents work. I know what you are thinking, “Why didn’t this happen before I did my residency?” New York state instituted limited hours in the 1990’s and eventually the ACGME chose a limit of 80 hours per week, at least 10 hours off after a shift, a shift that could not be longer than 24 hours. Those are the “duty hour” limits that current residents live with. Almost no one is happy about them, but it has made residency less fatiguing.

In addition to the duty hour issues, the ACGME has increased the demands on residencies to provide a more structured educational program including a formal curriculum, goals and objectives for each activity, and better feedback to residents. These are all sound educational activities but foreign to many of us, so it can be a struggle. Those of you who were here before the late 1990’s remember that having breakfast with Henry was fun, but now it would not count for anything other than harassment.

For the most part the residency has not changed over the past few years. The rotations were lengthened starting with this academic year to everyone’s delight. This has resulted in minor variations in the resident’s experience but the benefits of having longer time with a group of attendings more than offsets thatminor negative. We have established an Education Committee with faculty and residents. The faculty members are Phil Blazar, Kevin Raskin, Young-Jo Kim, and Arun Ramappa. The residents are Kevin Roth and Christina Boulton. This committee will be actively engaged in our continued efforts to have the best Orthopaedic Residency in the USA.

I welcome your feedback about your educational experience. You have a perspective that could be invaluable to us as we adjust the educational program trying to get the most out of what turns out to be five very short years. Let me hear from you.

OJHMS Home • Instructions to Authors • Letter from the Editor • Advertisers Info • Dedication • Manuscripts

The Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School is an annual publication
of the Harvard Combined Orthopaedic Residency Program. Copies are distributed
free of charge and the entire volume can be viewed here on our website.

To add your name to our mailing list and for any other correspondence please contact us at:

The Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School
Massachusetts General Hospital, White 535,   •   55 Fruit Street, Boston, MA 02114
e-mail: ojhms@partners.org    •    phone: 617-726-2942    •    fax: 617-726-3124

Copyright © Orthopaedic Journal at Harvard Medical School. All rights reserved.

Hosted by: Web Results Inc.