The personal relationship between physician and patient has long been the cornerstone of medical practice. The bond that is created between a patient and his or her surgeon is often forged in times of crisis (eg, cancer or catastrophic illness), leading to a particularly powerful and special covenant. Because problems such as the development of a tumor, hemorrhage, or bowel perforation cannot be scheduled in an orderly manner during standardized hours, general surgery has never lent itself readily to a predictable work environment. A deep sense of duty and commitment to our patients, especially during critical times, makes the concept of work hour restrictions, or shift work, seem wholly unacceptable.
Hyman NH. Attending Work Hour RestrictionsIs It Time?. Arch Surg. 2009;144(1):7–8. doi:10.1001/archsurg.2008.518