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Original article
peer-reviewed

Effect of Commuter Time on Emergency Medicine Residents



Abstract

Background

The impact of resident work hours on resident well-being and patient safety has long been a controversial issue.

Objectives

What has not been considered in resident work hour limitations is whether resident commuting time has any impact on a resident's total work hours or well-being.

Methods

A self-administered electronic survey was distributed to emergency medicine residents in 2016.

Results

The survey response was 8% (569/6828). Commuter time was 30 minutes or less in 70%. Two residents reported a commuter time of 76 to 90 minutes and one resident had a commuter time of 91 to 105 minutes. None reported commuter times greater than 105 minutes. Of most concern was that 29.3% of the residents reported falling asleep while driving their car home from work. We found 12% of respondents reporting being involved in a car collision while commuting. For residents with commute times greater than one hour, 66% reported they had fallen asleep while driving. When asked their opinion on the effect of commute time, those with commute times greater than one hour (75% of residents) responded that it was detrimental.

Conclusions

While the majority of emergency medicine residents in this survey have commuter times of 30 minutes or less, there is a small population of residents with commuter times of 76 to 105 minutes. At times, residents whose commute is up to 105 minutes each way could be traveling a total of more than 3.5 hours for each round trip. Given that these residents often work 12-hour shifts, these extended commuter times may be having detrimental effects on their health and well-being.



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Original article
peer-reviewed

Effect of Commuter Time on Emergency Medicine Residents


Author Information

Christopher Sampson Corresponding Author

Emergency Medicine, University of Missouri Columbia

Marc Borenstein

Emergency Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center


Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

Human subjects: Consent was obtained by all participants in this study. University of Missouri – Columbia Health Sciences Institutional Review Board issued approval 1210314. This project was reviewed and approved by the University of Missouri – Columbia Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (HSIRB). Animal subjects: All authors have confirmed that this study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: In compliance with the ICMJE uniform disclosure form, all authors declare the following: Payment/services info: All authors have declared that no financial support was received from any organization for the submitted work. Financial relationships: All authors have declared that they have no financial relationships at present or within the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. Other relationships: All authors have declared that there are no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.


Original article
peer-reviewed

Effect of Commuter Time on Emergency Medicine Residents


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Original article
peer-reviewed

Effect of Commuter Time on Emergency Medicine Residents

  • Author Information
    Christopher Sampson Corresponding Author

    Emergency Medicine, University of Missouri Columbia

    Marc Borenstein

    Emergency Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center


    Ethics Statement and Conflict of Interest Disclosures

    Human subjects: Consent was obtained by all participants in this study. University of Missouri – Columbia Health Sciences Institutional Review Board issued approval 1210314. This project was reviewed and approved by the University of Missouri – Columbia Health Sciences Institutional Review Board (HSIRB). Animal subjects: All authors have confirmed that this study did not involve animal subjects or tissue. Conflicts of interest: In compliance with the ICMJE uniform disclosure form, all authors declare the following: Payment/services info: All authors have declared that no financial support was received from any organization for the submitted work. Financial relationships: All authors have declared that they have no financial relationships at present or within the previous three years with any organizations that might have an interest in the submitted work. Other relationships: All authors have declared that there are no other relationships or activities that could appear to have influenced the submitted work.

    Acknowledgements


    Article Information

    Published: January 12, 2018

    DOI

    10.7759/cureus.2056

    Cite this article as:

    Sampson C, Borenstein M (January 12, 2018) Effect of Commuter Time on Emergency Medicine Residents. Cureus 10(1): e2056. doi:10.7759/cureus.2056

    Publication history

    Received by Cureus: November 27, 2017
    Peer review began: December 17, 2017
    Peer review concluded: January 10, 2018
    Published: January 12, 2018

    Copyright

    © Copyright 2018
    Sampson et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 3.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

    License

    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.

Abstract

Background

The impact of resident work hours on resident well-being and patient safety has long been a controversial issue.

Objectives

What has not been considered in resident work hour limitations is whether resident commuting time has any impact on a resident's total work hours or well-being.

Methods

A self-administered electronic survey was distributed to emergency medicine residents in 2016.

Results

The survey response was 8% (569/6828). Commuter time was 30 minutes or less in 70%. Two residents reported a commuter time of 76 to 90 minutes and one resident had a commuter time of 91 to 105 minutes. None reported commuter times greater than 105 minutes. Of most concern was that 29.3% of the residents reported falling asleep while driving their car home from work. We found 12% of respondents reporting being involved in a car collision while commuting. For residents with commute times greater than one hour, 66% reported they had fallen asleep while driving. When asked their opinion on the effect of commute time, those with commute times greater than one hour (75% of residents) responded that it was detrimental.

Conclusions

While the majority of emergency medicine residents in this survey have commuter times of 30 minutes or less, there is a small population of residents with commuter times of 76 to 105 minutes. At times, residents whose commute is up to 105 minutes each way could be traveling a total of more than 3.5 hours for each round trip. Given that these residents often work 12-hour shifts, these extended commuter times may be having detrimental effects on their health and well-being.



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Create a free account to continue reading this article.

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Christopher Sampson

Emergency Medicine, University of Missouri Columbia

For correspondence:
sampsoncs@health.missouri.edu

Marc Borenstein

Emergency Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center

Christopher Sampson

Emergency Medicine, University of Missouri Columbia

For correspondence:
sampsoncs@health.missouri.edu

Marc Borenstein

Emergency Medicine, Brookdale University Hospital and Medical Center