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September 7, 2005

Work Hours and Reducing Fatigue-Related Risk: Good Research vs Good Policy

JAMA. 2005;294(9):1104-1106. doi:10.1001/jama.294.9.1104

While there is little doubt that physicians-in-training work long hours and experience chronic sleep restriction over many years, the consequences remain unclear. There is not yet a significant body of evidence-based data clearly delineating the relationship between work patterns, sleep duration, and patient safety or practitioner well-being. On the contrary, anecdote and economics have driven much of the public debate over the legitimacy and necessity for extended work hours and any presumed impact on health care consumers and practitioners.