Before and after resident work hour limitations: an objective assessment of the well-being of surgical residents

Curr Surg. Jan-Feb 2005;62(1):117-21. doi: 10.1016/j.cursur.2004.09.013.


Purpose: To assess the impact of resident work hour limitations on how surgical residents feel about their training, patient care, and their overall well-being.

Methods: Three surveys were administered to 28 categorical surgery residents before and after implementation of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) work hour restrictions. The surveys consisted of a Beck Depression Inventory II (BDI-II), a SF-36 Health Status Profile (SF-36), and a custom 20-item Likert scale survey. The results of the surveys were then compiled to evaluate any significant changes in resident attitudes.

Results: Only minor differences were noted in the BDI-II and SF-36. The Likert scale survey showed no differences in attitude toward resident education, faculty interaction, operating room exposure, patient care, or continuity. Significant improvements were noted in the feelings of residents toward time for reading, rest, time with family, and socializing.

Conclusions: Although a great deal of concern has existed about the impact of work hour limitations on surgery resident training, residents feel their training has not been affected significantly. Work hour restrictions have, however, had a positive impact on the lives of surgery residents outside of the hospital.

MeSH terms

  • Attitude of Health Personnel*
  • Attitude to Health
  • Cohort Studies
  • Continuity of Patient Care
  • Depression / physiopathology
  • Depression / psychology
  • Faculty, Medical
  • Family Relations
  • General Surgery / education*
  • Health Status
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Life Style
  • Operating Rooms
  • Patient Care
  • Quality of Life
  • Rest / physiology
  • Rest / psychology
  • Time Factors
  • Work Schedule Tolerance* / physiology
  • Work Schedule Tolerance* / psychology
  • Workload