Colleen Farrell, MD+ Your Authors @colleenmfarrell Internal medicine resident in New York City. Soon-to-be pulmonary and critical care fellow. Writer. Creator of @MedHumChat. Views mine. Apr. 16, 2019 1 min read + Your Authors

Yes, it's terrible that interns only spend 12% of their time with patients. However, this isn't an entirely new phenomenon, and computers aren't totally to blame. How little time interns spend with patients has been observed since at least 1959 1/ 

in 1961, Payson et al published in @NEJM a time study of 2 interns, conducted in 1959.

Their conclusion: "The finding that concerned us most was the small amount of time spent with patients." 2/ 

Intern B in the @nejm study didn't have a computer, but he also wasn't spending too much time directly with patients. 3/

And this steep drop off in how much time the interns spent with patients over the course of their admission feels pretty relatable 4/

A @JAMA_current essay on this topic: "It is arresting to note that, despite dramatic changes in medicine during the 6 decades spanned by these studies, the actual number of minutes residents spent with their patients has remained remarkably similar." 5/ 

I'm no history expert like @AdamRodmanMD, but I do think that when a new study comes out about how we practice medicine, we need to understand it in historical context. Not all the problems of medicine can be blamed on the EHR 6/

all that said, it's disappointing how little time we actually spend with patients. one reason I really like #POCUS is that it brings us to the bedside. what will the intern time motion studies look like when we use #POCUS routinely? Maybe I'm overly optimistic. time will tell 7/7

Oops! Used my NYU proxy for links. Rookie mistake! Here’s the JAMA essay: 

And here’s the NEJM article from 1961: 

You can follow @colleenmfarrell.


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