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Table 4 US public opinion regarding individual components of Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommendations for resident physician work hour limits

From: US public opinion regarding proposed limits on resident physician work hours

Individual components of a proposal that would change the work shift requirements for medical residents Support* (percentage of respondents) Oppose* (percentage of respondents) Neutral* (percentage of respondents) Don't know* (percentage of respondents) Mean rating (95% CI)
Residents would not be allowed to work more than 16 h per shift in patient care 82 (80-84) 10 (8-12) 7 (5-9) 1 (0.4-2) 8.2 (8.0 to 8.4)
Those working a 30-h shift would have at least 5 h of protected sleep time between the hours of 10 pm and 8 am 79 (76-81) 11 (9-13) 8 (7-10) 2 (1-3) 7.9 (7.7 to 8.1)
Work hours would be capped at no more than 80 h in any single week 78 (76-81) 14 (12-16) 6 (4-7) 2 (1-3) 7.9 (7.7 to 8.1)
Medical residents would have at least 5 days off per month, including at least one 24-h period per week and one 48-h period per month. 86 (84-88) 6 (5-8) 7 (5-8) 1 (0.4-2) 8.5 (8.3 to 8.6)
Hospitals would have to provide safe transportation home, such as a taxi or public transit ticket, for residents too fatigued to drive home safely. 77 (74-79) 13 (11-15) 10 (8-12) 0.8 (0.3-1.2) 7.8 (7.6 to 8.0)
Strict rules would be established to ensure that medical residents are provided with direct, on-site supervision by more experienced doctors 91 (89-93) 3 (2-4) 5 (3-6) 1 (0.4-2) 8.9 (8.8 to 9.1)
Medical residents would not be allowed to moonlight, or work jobs outside of the hospital in their off hours. 75 (72-78) 14 (12-16) 9 (7-10) 3 (2-4) 7.8 (7.6 to 8.0)
  1. *Respondents were instructed as follows: 'For each one [question], please rate your support for that item on a scale of 0 to 10, where 10 means you strongly support this component, and 0 means you strongly oppose this component, and you can choose any number in between'. Responses from 6-10 are reported under 'Support'; responses from 0-4 are reported under 'Oppose'; responses of 5 are reported under 'Neutral'. Mean rating is the average of all scores, excluding 'Don't know'.