Residency

The affect of duty hour limits on continuity of care

Residency Program Insider, January 26, 2010

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A new study finds that work hour limits affect the continuity of patient care and resident education, particularly on multiple surgeries for a patient.

According to the study, residents who participate in a surgery often do not participate in second surgeries on the same patient caused by complications. Comparing cases in which a second operation was performed, researchers found that although the original attending physician was present for 79% of both cases, residents attended 44% of both cases.

Authors also compared postgraduate year level and call shift. When the first operation occurred during the day (rather than during night float or weekend shifts), resident and attending physicians were more likely to operate during the second surgery.

The study was conducted in the Department of Surgery at Mercer University School of Medicine and Medical Center of Central Georgia in Macon and published in December 2009 The American Surgeon.



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