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Curr Opin Anaesthesiol. 2007 Dec;20(6):580-4.

Duty hours restriction and their effect on resident education and academic departments: the American perspective.

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  • 1Anesthesiology & Peri-Operative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, Oregon 97239, USA.



Resident duty hour limits were implemented in 2003 by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education to improve resident wellness, increase patient safety and improve the educational environment of American residents. Now that academic anesthesiology departments and medical centers have had more than 3 years of experience under the duty hour rules, it is critical to review the available evidence on the effectiveness of these rules.


The available data clearly support that American residents across specialties perceive an improvement in their educational environment and an increase in their quality of life. It is not clear if the duty hour rules have affected patient safety or the quality of resident education. Faculty have been impacted by these rules, with many feeling their work loads have increased, and hospitals have had to fund additional providers to cover work previously done by residents.


Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education duty hour rules are generally being followed by American anesthesiology residency programs. Residents perceive an improvement in their overall wellness, but it remains unclear if there has been an improvement in patient safety or quality of resident education.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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