Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1077–1083

Effects of Resident Work Hour Limitations on Faculty Professional Lives

  • Lara Goitein
  • Tait D. Shanafelt
  • Avery B. Nathens
  • J. Randall Curtis
Original Article

DOI: 10.1007/s11606-008-0540-1

Cite this article as:
Goitein, L., Shanafelt, T.D., Nathens, A.B. et al. J GEN INTERN MED (2008) 23: 1077. doi:10.1007/s11606-008-0540-1



The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident work hour limitations were implemented in July, 2003. Effects on faculty are not well understood.


The objective of this study was to determine the effects of the resident work hour limitations on the professional lives of faculty physicians.

Design and Participants

Survey of faculty physicians at three teaching hospitals associated with university-based internal medicine and surgery residency programs in Seattle, Washington. Physicians who attended on Internal Medicine and Surgery in-patient services during the 10 mo after implementation of work hour limitations were eligible for participation (N = 366); 282 physicians (77%) returned surveys.


Participants were asked about the effects of resident work hour limitations on aspects of their professional lives, including clinical work, research, teaching, and professional satisfaction.


Most attending physicians reported that, because of work hour limitations, they spent more time on clinical work (52%), felt more responsibility for supervising patient care (65%), and spent less time on research or other academic pursuits (51%) and teaching residents (72%). Reported changes in work content were independently associated with the self-reported probability of leaving academic medicine in the next 3 y.


Resident work hour limitations have had large effects on the professional lives of faculty. These findings may have important implications for recruiting and retaining faculty at academic medical centers.


resident work hoursfacultyphysician turnoveracademicssurgeonsinternal medicinegraduate medical educationresident duty hours

Copyright information

© Society of General Internal Medicine 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lara Goitein
    • 1
  • Tait D. Shanafelt
    • 2
  • Avery B. Nathens
    • 3
    • 4
  • J. Randall Curtis
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of RadiologyUniversity of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  2. 2.Division of HematologyMayo ClinicRochesterUSA
  3. 3.General SurgerySt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoUSA
  4. 4.Director of TraumaSt. Michael’s HospitalTorontoUSA
  5. 5.Division of Pulmonary and Critical CareUniversity of Washington, Harborview Medical CenterSeattleUSA