Why Surgeons Struggle with Work-Hour Reforms focuses on general surgeons, a historically long-hour specialty, who fiercely opposed the reforms and are among the least compliant. Why do surgeons struggle with the reforms? Why do they continue to work long hours and view the act of doing so as reasonable if not quintessentially professional? Although the analysis is situated in the growing scientific literature on the consequences of fatigue, the authors do not adjudicate between the claims of surgeons and reform advocates about the effects of long work hours on patient or provider safety. Rather, the aim is to explore and explain how aspects of the occupational culture of surgeons and the social organization of surgical training and practice interlock to impede the reforms.
"This is a well-done, important study on a central issue of medical education today."
—Dr. Kenneth Ludmerer, author of Let Me Heal: The Opportunity to Preserve Excellence in American Medicine