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August 1991

The Experience of House Officers

Author Affiliations

Jamaica, NY

Arch Intern Med. 1991;151(8):1674. doi:10.1001/archinte.1991.00400080154040

To the Editor. —  The et al1 assessed the on-call activities of 11 of their interns to identify problems with workload scheduling, supervision, or learning. During a 34-hour on-call period, interns averaged 5.6 hours at the bedside, with 57 minutes of that time under direct supervision of a resident or attending physician. The interns averaged 21 beeps per 30 hours and slept an average of 2.5 hours with two interruptions. They read about their patients an average of 4 minutes during the 34-hour period. Attending physicians averaged only 12 minutes of bedside interaction with the intern.Not mentioned at all by Nerenz et al is an assessment of nonphysician tasks performed by medical house staff. We found that, on average, medical residents spend 38% of their time performing nonphysician tasks.2 In June 1988, the New York State Hospital Review and Planning Council approved major revisions in the state

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