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Medical News & Perspectives
January 16, 2002

Long Hours, Little Sleep

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JAMA. 2002;287(3):303-306. doi:10.1001/jama.287.3.303

Arlington, Va—A nationwide prospective study will test the hypothesis that long hours with little sleep jeopardizes both clinicians' health and the safety of their patients. It aims to survey all US physicians and dentists in the class of 2002 monthly through their first postgraduate year and perhaps beyond. Most physicians in training in US hospitals are required to work 80 hours or more per week and shifts of more than 30 consecutive hours every third or fourth night. About 80% of physicians and 20% of dentists participate in programs that impose such demands. In some programs, resident physicians allegedly work more than 130 hours per week and are on call every second night.

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