Sleep deprivation is a common problem experienced by medical residents. A study,reported in Psychiatric News (August 6, 2004), found that physicians in training at US hospitalsgo through their first 2 years of residency in "a nearly continuous state of chronic partialsleep deprivation." A survey of >1600 residents found that physicians across all specialtiesaveraged 5.7 hours of sleep a night during the first year of residency and only 13.8minutes more in their second year.
Specifically, the survey indicated that pathology residents received the most sleep?anaverage of 6.9 hours a night, compared with 5 hours of sleep a night experienced by generalsurgery residents. Recent regulations enacted by the Accreditation Council for GraduateMedical Education limit residents to 80 work hours a week. Although the 80-hour rulehypothetically will allow residents more sleep, " it is not clear that this will be the case,"stressed the researchers.