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February 1989

Patient Care, Resident Stress, and Government Regulation

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Pediatrics, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY (Dr Cohen), New York University School of Medicine (Dr Dancis), State University of New York—Health Science Center at Brooklyn (Dr Finberg), Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York (Dr Hirschhorn), College of Physicians and Surgeons at Columbia University, New York (Dr Katz), and New York Medical College, Valhalla (Dr Wasserman).

Am J Dis Child. 1989;143(2):181-182. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1989.02150140067022

The Department of Health of New York State has taken the lead in addressing the problem of resident fatigue, which has been perceived as a possible cause of errors in patient care. The suggested solutions are also designed to alleviate stress among house officers due to overlong work hours with very sick patients. Different specialties have different types of problems with the proposed solution. For example, surgical residents do a certain minimum number of operations that cannot be scheduled conveniently to conform with the recommended residency schedules. In this discussion we will outline the reactions of the chairs and program directors of departments of pediatrics in the state of New York. New York may not be alone in these changes—legislation has been introduced in other states, and their health departments are considering similar recommendations. In New York the health commissioner has the mandate to regulate without

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