OBs on call longer than residents; most lack recovery periods

March 1, 2007

Call systems for practicing obstetricians vary widely, with many obstetricians being on call for long hours and most lacking recovery periods after being on call, according to the results of a Wisconsin study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Call systems for practicing obstetricians vary widely, with many obstetricians being on call for long hours and most lacking recovery periods after being on call, according to the results of a Wisconsin study published in the January issue of the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Charles Schauberger, MD, of Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center in La Crosse, Wis., and colleagues surveyed 66 obstetricians in Wisconsin regarding patterns of obstetric call.

The researchers found that call group pool sizes ranged from one to 11 (median, five), and calls generally lasted 24 hours. Only 26% of groups had recovery time after being on call, and only 18% refrained from major surgery the next day. Only 23% of groups had a formalized back-up system. The investigators also found that all obstetricians had nondelivery duties while on call, and most in-house call was in hospitals with residencies.

Schauberger CW, Gribble RK, Rooney BL. On call: a survey of Wisconsin obstetric groups. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2007;196:39. e1-4.