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December 26, 2007

Resident Duty Hour Reform and Mortality in Hospitalized Patients

JAMA. 2007;298(24):2865-2867. doi:10.1001/jama.298.24.2865-a

To the Editor: Dr Volpp and colleagues studied mortality in hospitalized Medicare beneficiaries1 and patients in US Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals.2 They assessed changes that were associated with limitation of duty hours for trainees in accredited residency programs in hospitals to 80 hours per week. Although their findings regarding mortality could be the result of limiting house staff duty hours, licensed residents in approved programs may accept additional work in other medical facilities that are not connected with their residency program (“moonlighting”), representing irregular overtime work.