Regulation of medical student work hours: A national survey of deans

Erica Friedman, Reena Karani, Robert Fallar

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose: Because of the impact of resident duty hours on resident and medical student education, it is important to determine curriculum deans' opinions toward and current status of student work hours regulations. Method: In 2008, the authors electronically surveyed the curriculum deans at the 126 U.S. medical schools accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education (LCME) regarding student work hours at their schools. Results: Sixty-six respondents (82%) had a written policy restricting their students' work hours, and in 63% of these, the policy also extended to students visiting their institution. Policies applied to mandatory and elective (84%) or only mandatory (16%) rotations. About half the respondents supported a universal policy across medical schools, but of those who supported a policy, there was an equal split between whether individual schools or the LCME should create the policy. Deans felt strongly (>80%) that student well-being would be improved by work hours regulation, yet 48% noted that it would negatively affect scheduling required clerkship activities. Fifty-four percent supported the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education work hours policy for students, and most (82%) felt that students should work no more than 80 hours/week. Students are always supervised, yet extended work hours can affect learning and patient and team interactions. Conclusions: Without a mandate, many schools have created policies to restrict student work hours. This study describes the current status and offers an opportunity for consensus building around this important issue.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalAcademic Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Education


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