HEALTH AND SAFETY

» Drug, Devices, and Supplements

» Physician Accountability

» Consumer Product Safety

» Worker Safety

» Health Care Delivery

» Auto and Truck Safety

» Global Access to Medicines

» Infant Formula Marketing

 

More Information on Medical Resident Work Hours

ACGME Proposed Limits on Resident Physician Work Hours Are Inadequate

February 11, 2002

View updated table (August 1, 2002)

Read the original petition

 

Public Citizen AMSA/CIR

AAMC

ACGME

Maximum Hours/week

80 hours

80 hours

125 hours

Maximum Shift Length

24 hours

24 hours

36 hour call shifts

16 hour regular shifts

Minimum Time Off Between Shifts

10 hours after every shift

8 hours after every shift

12 hours only after on call shift

Mandatory Time Off

Bill: One 24-hour period every 7 days and 1 full weekend off per month.

Petition: One 24-hour period every 7 days.

One 24-hour period every 7 days

One 24-hour period every 7 days averaged over 4 weeks.

Maximum On-Call Frequency

Every third night

Every third night averaged over 4 weeks

Every third night averaged over 4 weeks

Verification Mechanism

Bill: Annual anonymous survey of residents

Bill & Petition: Frequent unannounced inspections

Defers to the ACGME

Site visits (ranging from every 6 months to once every 5 years)

Annual resident survey

Whistleblower Protections

Yes

None

None

Hospital/Program Violation Disclosure

Bill: Annual report to Congress on hospital compliance

Petition: Inspection results and work schedules are accessible to public through the Freedom of Information Act

None

None

Enforcement Mechanism

Civil monetary penalties

Defers to ACGME

More frequent review of programs


 


References

[1] The Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), a group representing US medical schools, released their resident work hour policy guidance in October, 2001.

[2] A 125-hour work week is possible under the ACGME’s  proposed guidelines because averaging the on-call frequency over a 4-week period allows for weeks in which residents are on-call every other night. Also, averaging days off over 4 weeks allows for weeks which lack a day off. Therefore, once a month, residents may work a 125-hour week consisting of 3 ½ 36-hour call shifts. When averaged over a month, the ACGME’s standards allow for an average of 104-hour work weeks.   

[3] “Continuous hours during on-call assignments should be limited to 32 hours. Continuous time on duty may be extended to 36 hours at the resident’s request, when the resident has had a minimum of four hours of sleep during the on-call period between 10 pm and 6 am.”

   

Copyright © 2014 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.


Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation

 

Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.

 

To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.