The first thing to point out is that surgical interns are not allowed to work more than 16 consecutive hours. Because they might get sleepy. And those bedhead hairdos on morning rounds were just too distracting for well coiffed Attendings. Or something.
ResultsA total of 464 completed surveys were analyzed. Overall, 75% of residents expressed dissatisfaction with the new duty hour limitation. PGY II to V residents reported a higher level of dissatisfaction compared with PGY I residents (87% vs 54%, p < 0.01). Eighty-nine percent of PGY II to V residents responded that there has been a shift of responsibilities from the PGY I class to PGY II to V residents, with 73% reporting increased fatigue as a result. Seventy-five percent of PGY I and 94% of PGY II to V residents expressed concerns about the adverse impact of the restrictions on the education of PGY I residents (p < 0.01). Residents at all PGY training levels reported encountering problems due to inadequate sign-outs (PGY I, 59%; PGY II to V, 85%; p < 0.01). Sixty-two percent of PGY I residents and 54% of PGY II to V residents believed that the new 16-hour duty restriction contributes to inadequate sign-outs (p = NS). Most PGY II to V residents (86%) believe there is a decreased level of patient ownership due to the work hour restrictions.
(emphases added by me)
So we have unsurprising findings that residents being sent home from apprenticeship based on arbitrary time limits are concerned about both their own education (less time in hospital/OR equals decrease in comfort level with complex surgical issues) and patient safety (compromised patient-info sign outs). That's fantastic. I can't wait when I'm old and broken down and these folks will be taking care of me at 3AM.