Effects of resident duty-hours restrictions on surgical and nonsurgical teaching faculty

Kimberly Vanderveen, Michael Chen, Lynette Scherer
Archives of Surgery 2007, 142 (8): 759-64; discussion 764-6

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the effects of resident duty-hours restrictions on teaching faculty, patient care, and the institutional climate at a single center.

METHODS: An anonymous questionnaire was provided to all teaching faculty (N = 606) at a single institution from March through October 2006. The questionnaire focused on perceptions of job satisfaction, workload changes, and effects on patient care and the institution.

RESULTS: Overall response rate was 41% (n = 248). More than half of faculty (n = 140 [56%]) feel they have less time for teaching, 33% report less time for extracurricular activities, and 42% report increased work hours. Forty-three percent of respondents (n = 106) were less satisfied with their jobs after implementation of resident duty-hours restrictions, while only 2% (n = 5) were more satisfied. Of the respondent faculty, surgeons were more likely than nonsurgeons to report increased work hours (54% vs 34%; P = .002), decreased time for teaching (66% vs 51%; P = .03), lower job satisfaction (55% vs 35%; P = .003), and negative effects on their personal relationships outside of work (24% vs 12%; P = .01). Although most responses suggest that the restrictions on resident duty hours have not adversely affected patient care or the institutional climate, 33% of respondents (n = 82) felt that patient care was worse.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgeons reported a particularly negative effect from resident duty-hours reform, especially within the areas of job satisfaction, time for teaching, and workload. Efforts to counteract these effects will be critical to maintain and recruit teaching faculty.

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