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February 4, 2009

Evidence-Based Evaluation of Physician Work Hour Regulations—Reply

JAMA. 2009;301(5):484-485. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.44

In Reply: We endorse Dr Rice's call for evidence-based evaluation of the effects of reducing resident work hours. Sleep deprivation impairs neurobehavioral performance, and residents' performance on clinical tasks has been repeatedly found to decline with sleep deprivation. A meta-analysis that included data from 959 physicians in 20 studies of diverse clinical tasks found that 24 to 30 hours of sleep loss induced a severe degradation of clinical performance to the 7th percentile of mean rested performance.1

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