Sleep Deprivation in Resident Physicians, Work Hour Limitations, and Related Outcomes: A Systematic Review of the Literature

Joseph Varon Professor of Acute and Continuing Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX; Professor of Clinical Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX; Chief of Critical Care Services, University General Hospital, Houston, TX

Meghna P. Mansukhani; Bhanu Prakash Kolla; Salim Surani; Joseph Varon; Kannan Ramar

2012

Scholarcy highlights

  • Joseph Varon Professor of Acute and Continuing Care, The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX; Professor of Clinical Medicine, The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston, Galveston, TX; Chief of Critical Care Services, University General Hospital, Houston, TX
  • The need for 24-hour patient care coverage and economic factors have resulted in prolonged work hours for resident physicians
  • Studies have shown adverse health consequences, motor vehicle accidents, increased alcohol and medication use, and serious medical errors to occur in association with both sleep deprivation and shift work
  • Resident work hour limitations have been mandated by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education in response to patient safety concerns
  • Studies evaluating the impact of these regulations on resident physicians have generated conflicting reports on patient outcomes, demonstrating only a modest increase in sleep duration for resident physicians, along with negative perceptions regarding their education
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