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July 25, 1986

Emotional Impairment in Internal Medicine House Staff

JAMA. 1986;256(4):471-472. doi:10.1001/jama.1986.03380040045016

To the Editor.—  I found the article "Emotional Impairment in Internal Medicine House Staff"1 both interesting and disturbing. It has been nine months since my residency in family practice, which included five months of first-year medicine. I would like to make some observations based on my own experiences.I was very disturbed that only one third of the directors thought that the work load or working conditions might be a factor in emotional impairment. My feelings are that it is one of the major causes of impairment or "resident burnout."I performed my residency in an urban private medical center of about 500 beds. A typical on-call schedule is being on call every third day. The day started at 7 AM and would be over by 6 PM, if it was a quiet day and the resident was efficient. We were required to come in every Saturday for about four