Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Shorter hours hurt resident training

Despite claims that shortening residents’ hours would improve both their training and patient care, a recent study suggests the opposite is true.

In 2006, Switzerland mandated that residents work no more than 14 hours a day, including breaks, and have at least 11 consecutive hours of rest per day.

A survey of residents who had just completed training asked them about their experience. In actual practice, the residents said they worked an average of 55 hours per week. The survey results indicate the shorter hours may not be worth it in the long run:

  • Only 8% of residents said the reduced hours improved their surgical training, while 63% said it had a negative effect.
  • 43% said the reduced hours had a negative impact on the quality of patient care
  • 77% said it had a negative effect on operating time
  • 74% said it had a negative impact on operating room experience
  • 58% said shorter hours improved their quality of life while training.

The study was published in Archives of Surgery.

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