Effects of Working Hours on the Life of Post Graduate Residents and on Patient Care

  • Qamar Mehboob Associate Professor, Department of Physiology, Faisalabad Medical University, Faisalabad
  • Waqar Arif Post Graduate Resident Plastic Surgery department, Allied Burn & Reconstructive Surgery Center Faisalabad Medical University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Arif Associate Professor, Ophthalmology department, Allied Hospital, Faisalabad Medical University, Faisalabad, Pakistan
  • Muhammad Saqlain Post Graduate Resident Neurosurgery Unit-1 Lahore General Hospital, Lahore Pakistan
  • Sana Arif Final Year MBBS Student Sheikh Zaid Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan Pakistan
  • Amina Javaid Malik Final Year MBBS Student Sheikh Zaid Medical College, Rahim Yar Khan Pakistan
Keywords: Work hours, Patient care


Background: Despite a lot of research regarding postgraduate residents (PGRs) duty hours, its benefits are still controversial. There is a constant need for further evaluation. So, we conducted the present research work to update a systematic review of the literature on duty hour restrictions. Objective: To evaluate the effects of the 80-hour postgraduate trainees work per week, restrictions on patient safety, resident well-being, and resident education. Study Design: Cross-Sectional Survey. Settings: Allied Hospital, Faisalabad Pakistan. Duration: One year from, Jan 2018 – Jan 2019. Methodology: A 15 item structured questionnaire based upon 5-point Likert scale was developed. The participants were 130 including males & females. Results: Residents reported per week working hours a mean of 103 ± 0.31, certainly more than 80-hours limit recommended by Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). Among all, 78% respondents reported that sleep deprivation had negatively affected their duty. A strong majority of senior PGs (88%), as compared to juniors (72%), believed that work hour limits would have markedly improved effect on patient care and somewhat improve the work life (juniors 69% & seniors 65%).  89% seniors suggested marked improvement in personal life after work hour limits while 55% juniors believed a somewhat improvement. Conclusion: Present PGRs duty hour changes are insufficient to improve resident well-being and have negative effects on patient outcomes and performance. Greater flexibility regarding their training requirements, is the need of the day.