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Editor's Correspondence
February 11, 2008

Can Faculty Assess Resident Professionalism With Duty Hours?

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(3):331. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2007.96

In a recent national survey in the Archives, Reed et al1 found that key clinical faculty believed that duty-hour restrictions had improved residents' well-being, though at the possible expense of faculty well-being. We commend Reed and colleagues1 for informing us how these restrictions are affecting faculty. In fact, their findings are in accord with those expressed by faculty at our own institution. However, we are surprised at the paradoxical finding that despite improvement in residents' well-being, faculty perceived that aspects of residents' professionalism worsened nonetheless. Intuitively, one might expect that an improved sense of well-being promotes professionalism. For example, professional attributes such as empathy may actually increase with improved resident well-being.2 Though the authors offer an interpretation of their findings based on differing generational understandings of professionalism, we believe there are additional explanations for these findings.

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