BMJ 2001; 323 doi: (Published 04 August 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;323:a

As the northern hemisphere departs on its holidays, workload is the issue that just won't go away.

First there are some myths to scotch. David Mechanic tries to disentangle the hamster phenomenon—that doctors feel they are working ever harder—in the face of strong evidence that they aren't (p 266). In particular, doctors complain they don't spend as much time with patients as they used to, but in both the US and UK they are spending more time than ever with patients. Mechanic attributes the hamster feeling to the …

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