Residency

News and briefs: UA study links lack of empathy in residents to long shifts

Residency Program Insider, February 7, 2012

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Approximately 68% of surveyed residents indicated a “significant decline” in empathy during “long-call” shifts, according to findings in a recently published University of Arizona report.

Researchers at the University of Arizona surveyed nearly 100 medical residents at different hospital settings. For the survey, empathy was officially defined as the compassion and concern demonstrated to a patient, and a long-call shift as a continuous 24- or 30-hour period of time. The study measured medical resident burnout and stress to compare the data.

The report, which was published three months after the new ACGME duty hour restrictions went into place, emphasizes a need for more attention on the emotional and mental well-being with all healthcare providers.

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