Physician Work Hours


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General Comments

Many people tell medical students not to worry about the number of hours they work during residency because once you get out and you're board certified, you won't be working nearly as much.  As seen from the data below, for many specialties, that is a myth.  While most practicing physicians are not working anywhere near the 80+ hours per week required by certain residency programs, many specialties are well into 60 hours per week and some even approach 70 hours per week on average.

Bottom line:  You need to enjoy what you do because you'll probably be working significantly more hours than non-physician employees during both residency and your entire career.  Choose a specialty you find interesting and enjoyable; not one that you believe will allow you to spend half your day at the golf course.

From: Dorsey. JAMA, Vol 290(9).Sept 3, 2003.1174.


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