A rational approach to shift work in emergency medicine

Dennis C. Whitehead, Harold Thomas, Debra Roberts Slapper

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


As the only medical specialists who routinely provide continuous 24-hour daily coverage, emergency physicians are all too familiar with the demands of shift work. Although shift work has a pervasive effect on the practice of emergency medicine and is regarded as a major stressor, it has received little attention per se in our literature and in our residency training programs. We review the principles of circadian rhythms and their effects on sleep and alertness, and recommend ways by which emergency physicians can better schedule themselves to mitigate the negative consequences of working shifts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1250-1258
Number of pages9
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • circadian rhythms

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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