[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
December 5, 1990

House Staff Supervision and Working Hours

Author Affiliations

George Washington University Washington, DC

George Washington University Washington, DC

JAMA. 1990;264(21):2739. doi:10.1001/jama.1990.03450210034019

To the Editor.—  Now that the regulatory change in New York State restricting the number of hours worked by resident physicians has been in existence for a year, the article by Thorpe1 is timely and sobering, but there is more to it than just the financial implications.As emphasized by Spencer,2 continuity of care is the most important characteristic of high-quality patient care. Continuity of care is the best and only way the physician can remain familiar with pertinent data concerning the patient's illness. This is especially true when unexpected problems arise. A very dangerous situation exists when a patient develops an unexpected complication at night or on a weekend when the physician in charge is off duty.This lack of continuity of care consequent to the regulatory change in New York State not only poses a hazard to the patient but also proves detrimental to the education