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August 1990

The Eighty-Hour Workweek: Residency Friend or Foe?

Author Affiliations

Section of Neonatology and Nutritional Sciences Department of Pediatrics College of Medicine University of Arizona Tucson, AZ 85724

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(8):857. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150320019016

There has been a national outcry from the public sector and the medical profession regarding excessive hours worked by house staff and the potential implications for both residents and patients. In the widely publicized Libby Zion case in New York, a grand jury concluded that long resident working hours adversely affected patient care and subsequently contributed to the death of a hospitalized young woman.1 Stringent regulations and guidelines were then mandated by the New York State Health Department that imposed statutory limitations on the working hours of house officers. In the July issue of AJDC, Daigler and colleagues2 described their initial efforts to follow these recommendations to improve residency working conditions and junior resident supervision.

In their model, Daigler et al outlined pediatric residency schedule changes and modifications in inpatient rotations at the Children's Hospital of Buffalo, NY, which reduced first-year house officer working hours to 80 hours