Residency

Practicing physicians work hours reflect ACGME duty hour rules

Residency Program Insider, June 23, 2009

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Practicing physicians work a similar number of hours as allowed under the ACGME’s duty hour rules, according to a new study.

Researchers surveyed practicing physicians to determine the extent to which their work hours mirror those standards. Of the 570 respondents, 500 completed their residency training at least five years prior to the survey. Respondents reported the following results:

  • Mean of 59.6 hours or work per work
  • Mean of 12.5 hours off between work days
  • Maximum of 20 continuous hours worked
  • Average of six days off per month

These findings are especially interesting as the debate continues about whether duty hour reforms are needed. According to study authors, “If the current ACGME duty hours regulation standards are congruent with acceptable physician work habits, a further reduction in resident duty hours may not be the most beneficial course of action.”



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