Shortening shift's length-Should we ask the residents if this is what they want?

Yehuda Hershkovitz, Adi Rasco, Orna Tal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction Work overload in hospitals enforced reducing shifts length of physicians in many countries over the last decade. In Israel, the current shift standard is of 26 hours, however, there is a residents' struggle alongside a governmental intent to short the shifts to 16 hour. We aim to evaluate residents and interns support and preferences regarding shortening shifts and their ramifications to quality of life and residency programs. Methods A structured questionnaire was distributed to all resident and interns in a single center. We evaluated their current quality of residency and life, their support in the shorter shifts model, offering alternative program components such as reduced pay, longer residency or replacement in order to allow rest. We compared those who support the new model to those who objected to identify common characteristics to draw a resident profile for acceptance of change. Results Overall, 151 physicians answer the questionnaire. 70.2% support the shorter shifts model. Residents above 35 years old and those reaching completion of residency, significantly less support the shortening shifts model. No other demographic nor professional parameters were different between the supporters and non-supporters. Option of reduced pay or longer residency dramatically reduced the support rate to less than 30% and 20%, respectively. Replacement by other physician (resident or senior physician) in order to allow rest was supported by only 40%. Conclusion Residents' standpoints regarding a desirable change are crucial to plan a successful implementation. A national survey is required before a new model is introduced, to achieve an optimal transparent efficient process.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0272548
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number8 August
StatePublished - Aug 2022

Bibliographical note

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© 2022 Hershkovitz et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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