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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Emergency Medicine Resident RVU Trends at an Academic Medical Center

Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Learning Objectives: To determine average RVUs per hour for emergency medicine residents at a tertiary-care, university-based academic medical center and to characterize change in mean RVUs per hour as residents advance in training.

Background: Physician productivity is often reported in relative value units (RVU). However, RVUs are infrequently reported during residency. Studying RVUs in varied training settings may better define benchmarks for progression of resident productivity.

Methods: This was a retrospective, observational study of PGY 1-3 residents at an academic, tertiary-care center. PGY2s and PGY3s were considered equivalent in shift scheduling and responsibilities. From 07/2019 to 09/2021, RVUs were extracted from the electronic health record (Epic) using E&M billing codes (excluding procedures, which were not tied to specific residents). In the PGY1 year and continuing longitudinally, residents received individual productivity reports. Individual metrics were de-identified, coded, and analyzed.

Results: The primary outcome was the measure of mean RVUs/hr per resident overall and by class. Secondary outcomes were the change in RVUs/hr between classes at the end of each year, as well as the change in RVUs/hr for the same class year to year. Descriptive statistics were reported in mean with standard deviations. One-way ANOVA was used to determine if PGY-level had a significant effect on RVUs generated; the remainder of comparisons were made with student’s t-test. 60 RVU data points were obtained, representing 40 residents. Two classes were followed longitudinally (Table 2). Overall mean RVU/hr per resident was 2.89 RVU/hr (SD 0.89). Mean RVU/hr per resident for PGY1s, PGY2s, and PGY3s were 1.97 RVU/hr (SD 0.26), 2.67 (SD 0.77), and 3.35 (SD 0.36) respectively. Class year was predictive of RVUs generated (p<0.001). There was no significant difference in RVUs within a single class from PGY2 to PGY3 (p =0.528), but there was a significant increase from PGY1 to PGY2 (p<0.001).

Conclusion: Resident RVUs in our academic ED were associated with training year, but longitudinally, the only statistically significant increase was from PGY1 to PGY2.

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