Objective: To assess the present status of resident duty hours in obstetrics and gynecology, identify existing policies concerning work schedules during pregnancy, and evaluate pregnancy outcome in female house officers.
Methods: A questionnaire-based study was administered to residents taking the 2001 Council on Residency Education in Obstetrics and Gynecology examination.
Results: More than 90% of the residents reported that their institution had a maternity leave policy. The leave was usually 4-8 weeks long and was paid. Nearly 95% of residents reported that they had to take over the work of residents on maternity leave. Most women residents worked more than 80 hours weekly throughout pregnancy, and few took time off before delivery. Most pregnancies occurred during the fourth year of training and did not seem to be adversely affected by the long work hours.
Conclusion: This study, performed before the institution of the new Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty hour policies, demonstrated that, although women house officers continued to work more than 80 hours per week during pregnancy, most had a good pregnancy outcome. Nevertheless, there was a higher frequency of preterm labor, preeclampsia, and fetal growth restriction in female residents than in spouses or partners of male residents.