What Does Remediation and Probation Status Mean? A Survey of Emergency Medicine Residency Program Directors
Acad Emerg Med
ObjectivesEmergency medicine (EM) residency program directors (PDs) nationwide place residents on remediation and probation. However, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education and the EM PDs have not defined these terms, and individual institutions must set guidelines defining a change in resident status from good standing to remediation or probation. The primary objective of this study was to determine if EM PDs follow a common process to guide actions when residents are placed on remediation and probation. MethodsAn anonymous electronic survey was distributed to EM PDs via e-mail using SurveyMonkey to determine the current practice followed after residents are placed on remediation or probation. The survey queried four designations: informal remediation, formal remediation, informal probation, and formal probation. These designations were compared for deficits in the domains of medical knowledge (MK) and non-MK remediation. The survey asked what process for designation exists and what actions are triggered, specifically if documentation is placed in a resident's file, if the graduate medical education (GME) office is notified, if faculty are informed, or if resident privileges are limited. Descriptive data are reported. ResultsEighty-one of 160 PDs responded. An official policy on remediation and/or probation was reported by 41 (50.6%) programs. The status of informal remediation is used by 73 (90.1%), 80 (98.8%) have formal remediation, 40 (49.4%) have informal probation, and 79 (97.5%) have formal probation. There was great variation among PDs in the management and definition of remediation and probation. Between 81 and 86% of programs place an official letter into the resident's file regarding formal remediation and probation. However, only about 50% notify the GME office when a resident is placed on formal remediation. There were no statistical differences between MK and non-MK remediation practices. ConclusionsThere is significant variation among EM programs regarding the process of remediation and probation. The definition of these terms and the actions triggered are variable across programs. Based on these findings, suggestions toward a standardized approach for remediation and probation in GME programs are provided.