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January 1, 1988

The Resident by Moonlight: A Misguided Missile

Author Affiliations

University of California Irvine Medical Center Orange

University of California Irvine Medical Center Orange

JAMA. 1988;259(1):43-44. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03720010023020

To the Editor.  —Physicians in training frequently work long hours with little sleep. After being on call, many residents drive home, creating a hazard for themselves and others on the road. Of seven surgical residents in our hospitals who we interviewed, six fell asleep while driving to or from work during their internships and three were involved in motor vehicle accidents. Residents at different levels of training in the surgical program also reported falling asleep while driving home after work.In a recent Letter from Brick and Brick,1 a case was reported of a busy moonlighting house officer who developed an air embolus when trying to drive while simultaneously administering intravenous fluids to himself. This case, as well as the episodes we report here, argue against allowing moonlighting by house staff for their own safety as well as that of others.This occupational hazard may be minimized in a