Journal of General Internal Medicine

, Volume 23, Issue 7, pp 1077–1083 | Cite as

Effects of Resident Work Hour Limitations on Faculty Professional Lives

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



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 hours faculty physician turnover academics surgeons internal medicine graduate medical education resident duty hours 


  1. 1.
    Report of the ACGME Work Group on Resident Duty Hours. Chicago: Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education; 2002 June 11.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fletcher KE, Underwood W 3rd, Davis SQ, Mangrulkar RS, McMahon LF Jr, Saint S. Effects of work hour reduction on residents’ lives: a systematic review. JAMA. 2005;294(9):1088–100.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Weinstein DF. Duty hours for resident physicians–tough choices for teaching hospitals. N Engl J Med. 2002;347(16):1275–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Lowenstein SR, Fernandez G, Crane LA. Medical school faculty discontent: prevalence and predictors of intent to leave academic careers. BMC Med Educ. 2007;7(1):37.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Schindler BA, Novack DH, Cohen DG, et al. The impact of the changing health care environment on the health and well-being of faculty at four medical schools. Acad Med. 2006;81(1):27–34.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Landon BE, Reschovsky JD, Pham HH, Blumenthal D. Leaving medicine: the consequences of physician dissatisfaction. Med Care. 2006;44(3):234–42.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Demmy TL, Kivlahan C, Stone TT, Teague L, Sapienza P. Physicians’ perceptions of institutional and leadership factors influencing their job satisfaction at one academic medical center. Acad Med. 2002;77(12 Pt 1):1235–40.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Reed DA, Levine RB, Miller RG, et al. Effect of residency duty-hour limits: views of key clinical faculty. Arch Intern Med. 2007;167(14):1487–92.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Coyle YM, Aday LA, Battles JB, Hynan LS. Measuring and predicting academic generalists’ work satisfaction: implications for retaining faculty. Acad Med. 1999;74(9):1021–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Bergus GR, Randall CS, Winniford MD, Mueller CW, Johnson SR. Job satisfaction and workplace characteristics of primary and specialty care physicians at a bimodal medical school. Acad Med. 2001;76(11):1148–52.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Buckley LM, Sanders K, Shih M, Hampton CL. Attitudes of clinical faculty about career progress, career success and recognition, and commitment to academic medicine. Results of a survey. Arch Intern Med. 2000;160(17):2625–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pathman DE, Konrad TR, Williams ES, Scheckler WE, Linzer M, Douglas J. Physician job satisfaction, dissatisfaction, and turnover. J Fam Pract. 2002;51(7):593.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Coverdill JE, Finlay W, Adrales GL, et al. Duty-hour restrictions and the work of surgical faculty: results of a multi-institutional study. Acad Med. 2006;81(1):50–6.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Winslow ER, Berger L, Klingensmith ME. Has the 80-hour work week increased faculty hours? Curr Surg. 2004;61(6):602–8.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Klingensmith ME, Winslow ER, Hamilton BH, Hall BL. Impact of resident duty-hour reform on faculty clinical productivity. Curr Surg. 2006;63(1):74–9.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Ludmerer K. Time to Heal: American Medical Education from the Turn of the Century to the Era of Managed Care. New York: Oxford University Press; 1999.Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Vanderveen K, Chen M, Scherer L. Effects of resident duty-hours restrictions on surgical and nonsurgical teaching faculty. Arch Surg. 2007;142(8):759–64. (discussion 764–6).CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Choby B, Passmore C. Faculty perceptions of the ACGME resident duty hour regulations in family medicine. Fam Med. 2007;39(6):392–8.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Malangoni MA, Como JJ, Mancuso C, Yowler CJ. Life after 80 hours: the impact of resident work hours mandates on trauma and emergency experience and work effort for senior residents and faculty. J Trauma. 2005;58(4):758–61. (discussion 761–2).PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Kellerman SE, Herold J. Physician response to surveys. A review of the literature. Am J Prev Med. 2001;20(1)61–7.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

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

Personalised recommendations