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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 7  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 105-109

Resident doctors’ duty hours: A questionnaire-based study in national and international perspective

Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to be University), Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Sushil Kumar
Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, MGM Medical College and Hospital, MGM Institute of Health Sciences (Deemed to be University), Kamothe, Navi Mumbai, Maharashtra.
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mgmj.mgmj_70_20

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Introduction: Most serious patients among the poorest of the poor class are treated in the hospitals attached to medical colleges. Although there are senior and experienced doctors available, there is no denying the fact that resident doctors are the backbone of medical care. We cannot even dream of running these hospitals without them especially when coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) is spreading like a wildfire across the globe. As far as the mental health of the resident doctors is concerned, often there are complaints of burnouts, depression, medical error, suicidal ideation, and leaving the course halfway, among them. We carried out a small questionnaire-based study to find out the viewpoint of the residents. Materials and Methods: An anonymous survey in respect of work hours and call schedules was administered to 50 junior residents. The results were analyzed. The faculty viewpoint, regulations in different countries, and regulatory bodies were also taken into account to present a balanced view and recommendations. Results: A total of 50 residents were surveyed. 64% of the residents worked for around 81–100h per week. 58%residents get 6h of uninterrupted sleep per day. 86% of the residents felt that extended working hours do not improve patient care. 82% of residents felt that there is no gain of skills with extended working hours; also, it does not leave them any spare time to study. 64% of the residents (mostly first-year postgraduate [PG] students) felt that most of their time is used for paperwork, which has no bearing on their skill development or knowledge. 16%–24% of residents felt that the extended working hours are affecting their mental health. Some of the residents felt that their relationship with coresident also affects their work. 74% of the residents admitted that they were asked to work more than 24h continuously quite often. 84% of the residents felt that they should get more time for leisure activities. Conclusion: There is a need to formalize working hours and to reduce paperwork for the residents to keep them in good mental health. A structured and supervised work schedule for the residents especially for the first-year PG students is the need of the hour. We need to balance education, patient care, and health of the young resident doctors while considering their work schedule.

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