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Editor's Correspondence
January 28, 2008

Residency Duty-Hour Limits: Time to Change How Key Clinical Faculty Work?

Arch Intern Med. 2008;168(2):244. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2007.52

We read with great interest the study by Reed et al,1 which demonstrated that key clinical faculty (KCF) from internal medicine residency programs perceived that duty-hour limitations had adversely affected both residents' professionalism and faculty workload and satisfaction. This finding will be particularly worrying to the medical establishments in Europe where legislation has already limited the average working week for trainee physicians to 56 hours, compared with approximately 80 hours for their counterparts in the United States. Moreover, the average working week for European trainee physicians is set to fall to 48 hours by 2009. One can speculate that despite many clinicians' reservations, duty hours in the United States are also likely to decrease further in the future. There are therefore obvious parallels in the challenges faced by the medical establishments of Europe and the United States in achieving a reduction in working hours for trainee physicians consummate with excellent clinical care and training.

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