This has been such a lively discussion so far! I am particularly interested in the questions regarding the outcomes of these studies, and what changes they will lead to. Clearly, the biggest fear is that fatigue during 28 hour shifts will lead to physician burnout and poor patient care. As it has been pointed out, we work in a very dynamic environment and there is much more to burnout and quality care than just the length of a shift. What innovative strategies can we use to have safe and effective experiences in the hospital during these long hours?
As an example, one rotation I participated in expected the call resident and intern to rest for a two hour period of time during the day, while the remainder of the team covered their patients.