On-call work among doctors is associated with medical errors, injuries and lower wellbeing. However, a study suggests that the key to attenuating these negative outcomes is to make it easier for on-call physicians to develop working arrangements that promote better sleep.
A survey of 1,541 Finnish doctors found that on-call work was associated with higher levels of sleeping problems and work interference with family life, contributing to high levels of distress, low job satisfaction and low work ability.
Heponiemi T et al (2014). “On-call work and physicians’ well-being: testing the potential mediators”. Occupational Medicine, first published online 22 March.