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April 2010

Of Puppies and DinosaursWhy the 80-Hour Work Week Is the Best Thing That Ever Happened in American Surgery

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Department of Surgical Education, Maine Medical Center, Portland.

Arch Surg. 2010;145(4):320-321. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2010.27

The joke is shopworn by now: “What's the difference between a puppy and a surgeon?” “A puppy stops whining as it gets older.” Well, it's time for us in surgery to collectively stop whining when it comes to work hour limitations. In fact, it's time for us to embrace them. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) work hour rules were instituted in 2003. An entire surgical generation has been trained under these rules, but we just can't seem to get over it.

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