Sir.—Now that the regulatory change in New York State restricting the number of hours worked by resident physicians has been in existence for more than 2 years, the article by Cheng1 is timely and interesting. But "what the residents want" may not be "what the residents get or should get."
Continuity of care remains the most important characteristic of high-quality patient care2,3; it is the best and only way the physician can remain familiar with pertinent data concerning a patient's illness. This is particularly 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 of the
CHENG TO. Working Hours for Pediatric Residents. Am J Dis Child. 1992;146(5):541. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1992.02160170021008