Pediatric Residents' Perspectives on Reducing Work Hours and Lengthening Residency

A National Survey

Published in: Pediatrics, v. 130, no. 1, July 2012, p. 99-107

by Mary Beth Gordon, Theodore C. Sectish, Marc N. Elliott, David J. Klein, Christopher Landrigan, Laura M. Bogart, Stephen Amrock, Ann Burke, Vincent W. Chiang, Mark A. Schuster

Read More

Access further information on this document at

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

OBJECTIVE: In 2011, the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education increased restrictions on resident duty-hours. Additional changes have been considered, including greater work-hours restrictions and lengthening residency. Program directors tend to oppose further restrictions; however, residents' views are unclear. We sought to determine whether residents support these proposals, and if so why. METHODS: We surveyed US pediatric residents from a probability sample of 58 residency programs. We used multivariate logistic regression to determine predictors of support for (1) a 56-hour workweek and (2) the addition of 1 year to residency to achieve a 56-hour week. RESULTS: Fifty-seven percent of sampled residents participated (n = 1469). Forty-one percent of respondents supported a 56-hour week, with 28% neutral and 31% opposed. Twenty-three percent of all residents would be willing to lengthen training to reduce hours. The primary predictors of support for a 56-hour week were beliefs that it would improve education (odds ratio [OR] 8.6, P < .001) and quality of life (OR 8.7, P < .001); those who believed patient care would suffer were less likely to support it (OR 0.10, P < .001). Believing in benefits to education without decrement to patient care also predicted support for a 56-hour-week/4-year program. CONCLUSIONS: Pediatric residents who support further reductions in work-hours believe reductions have positive effects on patient care, education, and quality of life. Most would not lengthen training to reduce hours, but a minority prefers this schedule. If evidence mounts showing that reducing work-hours benefits education and patient care, pediatric residents' support for the additional year may grow.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation External publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

Our mission to help improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis is enabled through our core values of quality and objectivity and our unwavering commitment to the highest level of integrity and ethical behavior. To help ensure our research and analysis are rigorous, objective, and nonpartisan, we subject our research publications to a robust and exacting quality-assurance process; avoid both the appearance and reality of financial and other conflicts of interest through staff training, project screening, and a policy of mandatory disclosure; and pursue transparency in our research engagements through our commitment to the open publication of our research findings and recommendations, disclosure of the source of funding of published research, and policies to ensure intellectual independence. For more information, visit

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.