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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article
Study

US public opinion regarding proposed limits on resident physician work hours.

Blum AB, Raiszadeh F, Shea S, et al. BMC medicine. 2010;8:33.

Duty hours continue to generate spirited debate, particularly around their impact on residents' quality of life, patient safety, and educational outcomes. New recommendations have kept the debate front and center among educational leaders and in training institutions, but a formal assessment of the public's opinion on this issue has been lacking. This study conducted an 18-minute telephone survey with 1200 Americans using an independent public opinion research firm. A key finding was that only 1% of the public approves the 30-hour shifts currently authorized by the ACGME. The public also favors federal oversight to the role of the ACGME in regulating work hours, and most would request a different treating physician if their provider was awake for more than 24 hours. The explicit input of public opinion into work hour restrictions was not part of the ACGME recommendations, nor those of the IOM, but their opinions could have significant impact if taken into account. A past AHRQ WebM&M conversation and perspective discuss duty hours and the role of the ACGME.