The “Fourth Mission”: The Time Commitment of Anesthesiology Faculty for Management Is Comparable to Their Time Commitments to Education, Research, and Indirect Patient Care


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Abstract

Academic anesthesia departments have management responsibilities (e.g., coordinating sedation, directing the operating rooms [ORs], informatics, ongoing professional performance evaluation, staff scheduling, and workroom inventory management). For each of the 64 faculty, a survey sampled 10 weekdays and 4 weekend days of professional activity over N = 56 days. Faculty time in managerial activities was 126% of time spent on education, 107% of time spent in research, and 112% of time spent on mandatory indirect clinical support (e.g., fire safety training). The 95% lower confidence limits calculated using Fieller’s theorem were 107%, 89%, and 91%, respectively. Corresponding bootstrap limits were 107%, 89%, and 90%, respectively. Thus, although our College of Medicine tripartite mission includes clinical care, education, and research, administrative activities constitute a “fourth mission” of our department.

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