Yungpo Bernard Su, MD; Lydia Kang, MD
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Su YB, Kang L. Residents' Work Hours. Ann Intern Med. 2004;141:741. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-141-9-200411020-00029
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 2004;141(9):741.
TO THE EDITOR:
We are concerned that the 4 essays on residents' work hours (1-4) imply that all current trainees support shift work and that only the aged establishment is divided over the issue of resident work hours regulation. We are recent chief residents of New York City internal medicine residency programs who served during the first year of state-contracted work hour inspections. As attending physicians, we now oversee residents who from the start of internship have been literally commanded to leave the hospital at the strike of the clock. We see a nontrivial minority of trainees with marginal baseline commitment to patient care who believe that their work ethic is appropriate. We see dedicated trainees staying beyond their allotted hours to maintain continuity of care for acutely ill patients, potentially jeopardizing our institutions' ongoing efforts to maintain compliance. We see increasing numbers of patient handoffs lead to troublingly frequent lapses in information transfer and subsequent quality of care.
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