Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Med Teach. 2012;34(3):232-9. doi: 10.3109/0142159X.2012.652489.

A global template for reforming residency without work-hours restrictions: decrease caseloads, increase education. Findings of the Japan Resident Workload Study Group.

Author information

  • 1Center for Clinical Epidemiology, St. Luke's Life Science Institute, Tokyo, Japan.



Japanese physician training programs are currently not subject to rigorous national standardization. Despite residency restructuring in 2004, little is known about the current work allocation of residents in Japan.


We quantified the amount of time that Japanese junior residents spend in service versus education in the context of caseload, fatigue, and low-value administrative work.


In this prospective, time-and-motion study, the activity of 1st- and 2nd-year residents at three Japanese community hospitals was observed at 5-min intervals over 1 week, and categorized as patient care, academic, non-patient care, and personal. Self-reported sleep data and caseload information were simultaneously collected. Data were subanalyzed by gender, training level, hospital, and shift.


A total of 64 participating residents spent substantially more time in patient care activities than education (59.5% vs. 6.8%), and little time on low-value, non-patient work (5.1%). Residents reported a median 5 h of sleep before shifts and excessive sleepiness (median Epworth score, 12). Large variations in caseload were reported (median 10 patients, range 0-60).


New physicians in Japan deliver a large volume of high-value patient care, while receiving little structured education and enduring substantial sleep deprivation. In programs without work-hour restrictions, caseload limits may improve safety and quality.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Taylor & Francis
    Loading ...
    Support Center