Work-hour caps for surgical residents designed to lessen complication rates have not accomplished that. Instead, the period after work-hour limits were introduced saw an uptick in complication rates , according to findings which raise concerns that limiting residents’ work hours isn’t really a benefit.

The analysis was designed to evaluate the patient safety impact of rules limiting the hours worked by residents, a measure introduced in 2003. The goal of the limits, a maximum of 88 hours per week, was to reduce the risk of errors and injury related to resident fatigue.


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