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Restricted Hours Do Not Hurt Ob-Gyn Residents' Experience

Residents in obstetrics and gynecology do not gain less technical experience with reduced hours

THURSDAY, June 3 (HealthDay News) -- The implementation of work-hour restrictions does not appear to have a negative effect on residents' level of experience in obstetric and gynecologic procedures, according to research published in the June issue of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Roger P. Smith, M.D., of the University of Missouri in Kansas City, compared data on resident experience in core obstetric and gynecologic procedures in the role of "surgeon" during a three-year period before and a three-year period four years after the implementation of restricted work-hour rules to evaluate resident experience in both situations.

The author found little change in overall resident experience; the average median total case experience was 510 after, compared with 513 before restrictions. There was a decrease in operative vaginal deliveries, but cesarean deliveries increased. Experience with abdominal hysterectomy declined, while experience with vaginal hysterectomy was stable. Under work-hour restrictions, there was an increase in residents' experience with laparotomy, laparoscopy and hysterectomy. There were similar patterns in national practice changes over the same time period.

"The imposition of work-hour restrictions has not had material negative effects on resident technical experience," Smith concludes.

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