Two years after new work-hour rules were established for medical residents, most doctors-in-training believe that the 80-hour limits not only improve patient safety and reduce medical errors but also help foster a better quality of life during a rigorous training regimen that typically lasts for three years, according to a new study.
Overall, residents were in support of the new rules, which took effect in July 2003, according to the study published in the July issue of the Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. The study surveyed 128 residents in four medical centers in and around Detroit. While most residents supported the 80-hour limits, physicians in general-surgery programs had the least-favorable attitudes, according to the study. These residents were more likely to believe that the standards would have a negative effect on the training of future physicians, said Susan Zonia, the study's lead author and associate director of medical education at Oakwood Southshore Medical Center in Trenton, Mich.