Program Policies

The Colorado Health Foundation Transitional Year Program
Policy for Duty Hours

It is the explicit policy of this Program that duty hour limits as defined by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education should be strictly adhered to without exception.

Those Duty Hours requirements are:

  1. Duty hours are defined as all clinical and academic activities related to the residency program; i.e., patient care (both inpatient and outpatient), administrative duties relative to patient care, the provision for transfer of patient care, time spent in-house during call activities and scheduled activities such as conferences. Duty hours do not include reading and preparation time spent away from the duty site.
  2. Duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four-week period, inclusive of all in-house call activities.
  3. Residents must be provided with 1 day in 7 free from all educational and clinical responsibilities, averaged over a 4-week period, inclusive of call. One day is defined as 1 continuous 24-hour period free from all clinical, educational, and administrative duties.
  4. Adequate time for rest and personal activities must be provided. This should consist of a 10-hour time period provided between all daily duty periods and after in-house call.
  5. When taking in-house call, you should never be on duty more than 16 hours.

In this Program, only Internal Medicine Ward rotations have on-call responsibilities and only Internal Medicine Ward and Emergency Medicine rotations have any weekend responsibilities. Duty hours should not be an issue on the six other rotations as there are no requirements to work nights or weekends.

Emergency Medicine rotations have a preset number of shifts that are required which will not be in violation of the above rules. If you believe that this is not the case when you rotate in the ED, please contact the Transitional Year Program Director immediately with your concerns.

On Internal Medicine ward rotations, you will be asked on a weekly basis to track working hours. You should carefully track the time you spend in the hospital so that the log will accurately reflect actual time spent.

If you have problems complying with either the 80-hour or 16 hour rule or are expected or instructed by any faculty or resident physician to ignore them to continue working beyond these limits for any reason, please contact the Transitional Year Program Director immediately.