Volume 10, No. 2 • Summer 1995

Reading Debate Yields Survey Facts, Strongly Opposing Reader Opinions

William 0. Witt, M.D.

Survey of 97 Residencies Shows Few OK OR Reading

In an attempt to determine whether there was national policy in educational programs regarding the practice of reading during the maintenance phase of the administration of ‘routine” anesthetics, all 115 members of the Society of Academic Anesthesia Chairs were surveyed by mail. 97 complete questionnaires were returned. Of these 97, 70 report policy that forbids reading as described, and 23 institutions allow reading to occur. Breaking down these 23 that indicated that they allow reading, nine of them allow, but ‘discourage strongly,’ one allows only in open heart cases while on bypass (and then only material related to the case at hand) and three allow materials to be read that are relevant to the current case at hand only.

This leaves 10 programs that indicated that they allow reading as indicated with no limitations thereon, for a frequency of 10%. Thus, 90% of academic programs either forbid, strongly discourage, or otherwise limit reading in the OR during anesthetics.

Dr. Witt is Professor and Chairman of Anesthesiology at the University of Kentucky, Lexington.