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State of University of New York Downstate Medical Center

College of Medicine

Duty Hours Policy

Medical student duty hours during clerkships and required rotations are set by the individual departments. These duty hours are never allowed to exceed, and in most cases do not approach, the duty hour restrictions for first year residents imposed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education or by New York State.   These outer-limit restrictions are as follows:

  • Duty hours must be limited to 80 hours per week, averaged over a four week period.
  • Trainees must be scheduled for a minimum of one day free of duty every week (when averaged over four weeks).
  • Duty periods must not exceed 16 hours in duration.
  • Trainees should have 10 hours, and must have eight hours, free of duty between scheduled duty periods.
  • Trainees must not be scheduled for more than six consecutive nights of night shifts.

Any violations of the duty hours policy are to be reported to the clerkship director or to the Associate Dean for Clinical Medicine ( for immediate resolution.  Duty hours violations should also be identified on the student feedback form filled out at the end of each clerkship.