Residents are a significant part of coverage in many hospitals. Resident associations are negotiating work hour limits to prevent fatigue-induced medical errors. Our intensive care unit experienced an unexpected resident shortage and used the opportunity to trial a shift schedule for one month. Post-surveys were sent to nurses, attending physicians and residents to evaluate the effects on staff interactions, patient safety and education quality. The trial was clearly a failure on all fronts. Work hour restrictions are a reality in medical education, and administrators need to start considering alternative staffing models and discussing alternative schedules with their medicine faculty.
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