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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Residents' response to duty-hour regulations—a follow-up national survey.

Drolet BC, Christopher DA, Fischer SA. The New England journal of medicine. 2012;366:e35.

Over the past decade, increasing duty-hour regulations for resident physicians have been motivated by efforts to improve patient care, resident education, and resident quality of life. Despite mixed results in achieving those goals, the 2011 regulations extended the work hour limits further and added a significant cost burden to teaching institutions in covering provider gaps. This survey study captured more than 6200 responses from a diverse group of resident physicians to assess the impact of the newest regulations. Overall, nearly half the residents disapprove of the regulations, and nearly 60% report that their hours worked are unchanged compared to last year. Other notable findings included that 43% reported no change in the quality of care, more than half believed preparation for more senior roles was worse, and only 16% believed education was improved. Not surprisingly, 72% reported increased handoffs, and only interns reported improvements in their quality of life. The authors conclude that a one-size-fits-all approach that comes with such regulations may not meet the needs of all trainees or training environments.