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Resident Duty-Hour Cuts Curb Surgeon Job Satisfaction

Some teaching faculty report patient care negatively affected

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 22 (HealthDay News) -- Reforms limiting resident duty hours are increasing surgeons' workloads and may be negatively affecting patient care, researchers report in the August issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Kimberly Vanderveen, M.D., of the University of California Davis Medical Center in Sacramento, Calif., and colleagues analyzed responses to an anonymous questionnaire provided to 606 teaching faculty members at one institution between March and November 2006.

The researchers found that among 248 respondents, 33 percent reported less time for extracurricular activities, 42 percent reported more work hours and 56 percent reported less time for teaching. Although 2 percent expressed greater job satisfaction after resident duty-hour limit reforms, job satisfaction dropped for 43 percent of respondents. Thirty-three percent of respondents reported adverse effects on patient care.

Among surgeons, 54 percent said they had heavier workloads, 66 percent had less teaching time, 55 percent experienced decreased job satisfaction and 24 percent reported damaged personal relationships.

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

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