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Frequently Asked Questions

ACLS Certification
Are pathology fellows required to be ACLS certified?
At present, we do not require Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS) certification of pathology residents. However, they are required to receive Basic Cardiac Life Support (BCLS) certification prior to their 3rd year and VA rotations.

Resident Housing on Away Rotations
For residents required to rotate at away locations, is there a standard for the housing provided to the residents? Is it really adequate housing if the residents are not provided a private bedroom?
According to the ACGME, sleeping arrangements within its accredited hospitals should be adequate.  If a resident participating in a required outside rotation does not find his/her sleeping arrangements adequate, the resident should relay the concern to the Program Director for investigation. 

Salary Increases
I know that, without announcement or clear communication to those affected, the cost-of-living increase was not provided this past October to the house officers as it had for the previous four straight years I had been here but is it going to be reinstated this October? Will it be announced, discussed, communicated to us?
In past years, the residents received raises in October of each year only after approval from the Dean and Hospital Administration. That process was changed for the 2011-2012 academic year. The Dean and Hospital Administration were approached and gave their approval for this year's increase to applicable PG levels during the Spring of 2011 to be take effect in July.  The salary increases were announced to all Program Directors, Program Coordinators, at Chief Resident meetings and via GME email notifications.

Duty Hours
Fellows, in my program, are on call weekends, and most of the time, we spend more than 30 hours
(36-40 hours sometimes) on campus on these weekends. Although it happens only 6-7 weeks, is this
a violation of ACGME duty hour requirements? Of course, we also work Mondays to Fridays with over
8 hours per day.
Without having the specific amount of time worked in the above scenario, it is difficult to definitively state
whether this would be a violation of the ACGME duty hour requirements. For further information, please
visit the ACGME's webpage pertaining to duty hour requirements:

Also, all specialty and sub-specialty residents should make sure to log their duty hours as accurately
as possible in the E*Value system. The E*Value system will flag any potential duty hour violations and
notify the appropriate program administrators (Program Directors and Program Coordinators) via a 
monthly report. Residency programs are charged with monitoring and investigating any data suggesting
non-compliance with duty hour requirements and responding to duty hour requirement violations

Social Networking Sites
Does MUSC have a policy regarding social networking sites? If so, where can a copy of
the policy be found?
Kerri Glover, Business Development & Marketing Services, Heather Woolwine, Office of Public Relations and Reece Smith, medical center compliance, reviewed concerns relating to the use of social media in the workplace. Marketing Services and Public Relations began evaluating the value of Facebook, Twitter,
YouTube and other products about a year ago as a way to promote good will and enhance MUSC’s reputation and brand with the public and press. Currently, there are about 30 MUSC groups on Facebook. The team explored multiple areas and collaborated with departments and groups to respond to questions about institution-wide usage.
  - MUSC has policies governing IT and news media/public communications, but no 
  specific online communications or social media policy. 
  - Marketing and PR met with OCIO, MUHA and University HR, MUHA and
  University Compliance, MUHA and University Legal and the Student Facebook
  Committee regarding social media.
  - Guidelines were developed and approved by Marketing Advisory Council and the
  President’s Council. These guidelines are similar to other institutions including St. Jude’s,
  Mayo Clinic and Brigham & Women’s Hospital.
  - Social media guidelines will be posted on, and MUSC
  - The guidelines:
    * Do not supersede existing policies
    * Represent official MUSC social media
    * Guide personal use of social media as an MUSC employee
    * evaluate official pages and those that violate MUSC policy or guidelines may be 
    * Allow departments to govern employee usage
  - Three Ps of social media – Institution looks to managers and supervisors in handling
  employee situations as it relates to social media:
    * Productivity – Evaluate improper usage of Internet time at work
    * Professionalism – Monitor and evaluate behaviors to ensure appropriate conduct
    * Privacy — Employees should refrain from discussing patient care information at 
      all times; this includes all social networking sites and other media

Internal Reviews
What was the purpose of the Internal Review questionnaire? I know there were a lot of concerns about our specific program from my resident
colleagues, but none of these issues were discussed between the GME Office and the Program Directors. Are resident concerns ignored?
Resident concerns are of the utmost importance to the Internal Review Committee and the GMEC.

For the internal review process, not every comment can be gone over in the time constraints that the committee is under. If a comment appears in a significant amount of responses, it is brought up during the meeting. The committee is keenly aware of not putting an of the residents present at an internal review meeting "on the spot."  
Thus, we may not ask for verification from the residents present. The Chair of the committee or other committee members may bring this up with the programs outside of the internal review. Program Directors are always advised to go through each survey and interview and use the information provided to strengthen the program.

However, taking this question and other factors into consideration, the committee is trying to come up with ways to make the residents present at the internal review more involved. We will require programs to provide the residents with the same information provided to the committee prior to the meeting, so that all program representatives will know what information is presented. If there is a legitimate concern about information presented in the internal review  materials, the residents are free to discuss this with the committee. In addition, the committee members will take time to ask the residents present if the information presented is correct.

Dr. Clarke, the Designated Institutional Official, is also the chairman of the Internal Review Committee and is available to speak to residents if they are not comfortable bringing up a subject in front of other program representatives.