On April 20, an STFM-led task force, chaired by Simon Griesbach, MD, delivered recommendations to the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education’s (ACGME) Family Medicine Review Committee (FM-RC). The recommendations:
- Define more clearly what falls into “non-clinical time,” distinguishing it from resident supervision and direct patient care
- Quantify minimum amounts of protected time for core faculty
- Increase the minimum amount of protected time for associate program directors
- Support the current requirements for protected time for program directors
The recommendations were vetted by leadership of STFM, the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors (AFMRD), Association of Departments of Family Medicine (ADFM), the American Board of Family Medicine, the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), the American College of Osteopathic Family Physicians and the North American Primary Care Research Group. The recommendations were submitted through AAFP, which is represented at the FM-RC meetings.
In developing the recommendations, the STFM Protected Faculty Time Task Force reviewed:
- Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) data on faculty time
- Results of a survey of program directors done by the STFM GME Committee
- Details on what was in effect in the ACGME requirements – by specialty – prior to the implementation of the new Common Program Requirements
- Pertinent literature examining faculty non-clinical time
- AAFP Residency Program Solutions Recommendation
- ACGME data on faculty time – what was reported for family medicine on Mean Number of Hours per Week Core Faculty/Program Directors Spent in Key Areas from 2007-2019
The task force also asked for and received feedback on draft recommendations from a “reactor panel” of STFM members, the STFM Board of Directors, and AFMRD and ADFM staff executives.
Next steps are to wait and see if the ACGME approves a focused revision of the Common Program Requirements that allows specialty review committees to specify the amount of time core faculty must dedicate to residency programs. If that is approved, the FM-RC will determine what changes – if any – to make to the Family Medicine Program Requirements. Any proposed changes will be made available for comment before being approved by the ACGME.
The next step for the STFM Protected Faculty Time Task Force is to develop and disseminate detailed Joint Guidelines for Protected Non-Clinical Time for Faculty in Family Medicine Residency Programs.