June 1990

Survey of Residents' Attitudes Toward Reform of Work Hours

Author Affiliations

From the Surgical Research Center, Department of Surgery, University of Connecticut School of Medicine, Farmington (Drs Ruby, Allen, and Deckers), and the Department of Surgery, St Mary's Hospital, Waterbury, Conn (Dr Fielding).

Arch Surg. 1990;125(6):764-768. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410180090015

• Traditional work schedules of surgical residents have been cited as a factor that negatively influences residency education and the quality of patient care. As an adjunct to the formulation of recommendations for the development of the environment for general surgery training, the New England Association of Program Directors in Surgery set out to sample the attitudes of surgical residents in New England relative to their perceived need to reform work hours. Seventy-two percent of the residents thought there was a need for some level of resident work schedule change. The major variable that correlated with this opinion was the reported amount of sleep that a resident needed before returning to work after a 24-hour shift. The ultimate effect on education, patient care, and fiscal resources of these potentially sensitive changes remains to be determined.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:764-768)