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July 25, 1986

Emotional Impairment in Internal Medicine House Staff-Reply

Author Affiliations

University of Arizona Health Sciences Center Tucson

JAMA. 1986;256(4):472. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380040045018

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In Reply.—  The letter by Dr Anderson points out a problem—heavy work loads—that only 31% of the program directors perceived as a problem. We were somewhat surprised by this, but this was the response we received from program directors. We believe the Association of Program Directors in Internal Medicine should encourage program directors to pay attention to the actual number of working hours and perhaps produce more reasonable call schedules.The letter from Dr Pelton points out that physicians, like everyone else, are susceptible to emotional illness and can be treated. We defined an impaired resident as "one who had emotional problems and required a leave of absence from the training program."