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Stress in Residency-Reply

Am J Dis Child. 1990;144(3):266-267. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1990.02150270012004.
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In Reply.—One might think after reading Dr Benjamin's letter that he and I are at opposite ends of the pole on the issue of reducing stress in residency training. Actually, we are not.

Dr Benjamin and his six partners put in, on average, a 60-hour work-week and go to work on days after they have been up taking care of patients for part or all of the preceding night. They have a stressful schedule, working 20 hours a week more than most people. Dr Benjamin feels that residency training programs should be stressful to prepare physicians to cope with the stress they will face when they enter practice.

The question is, how stressful does a residency need to be to teach young physicians how to cope with stress? Do they need to work more than 80 hours a week (as Dr Benjamin did when he was a resident) to prepare them


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