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April 1987

Increased Morbidity Among Pediatric House Staff

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Pediatrics, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

Am J Dis Child. 1987;141(4):432-434. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1987.04460040090023

Medical postgraduate training has been described as a period of stress and physical and emotional exhaustion.1-5 As a result of the long working hours and stressful environment, house officers are prone to suffer from depression6 and other emotional disturbances.7,8 Their intense occupational exposure, which involves prolonged and frequent patient contact, puts them at high risk for developing communicable diseases9,10 such as hepatitis A and B,11,12 tuberculosis,13 and other infections, particularly those associated with needle sticks.14 Overall morbidity, however, has not been systematically studied in this occupational group. We therefore conducted a prospective study of self-reported morbidity and absenteeism among a cohort of pediatric residents and fellows.

MATERIALS AND METHODS  A complete cohort of 29 residents and 20 fellows in the department of pediatrics in a large New York teaching hospital was asked to participate in a prospective survey from July 1, 1980 to May 30, 1981.

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