One of the greatest fictions in medicine (if you look at how we staff) is that somehow people are less sick on the nights or weekends. At the same time, continued political pressure without good evidence to support is shortening resident work hours, now to the point of ludicrous 16 hour shifts. While this seems long, a 30 hour shift requires 1 commute to work each way, and 1 sign-in and sign-out, a 16 hour shift doubles these requirements. Depending on how far away one lives from the hospital, this can be hours out of each day wasted in minimally productive activities that are neither educational or providing a service to patients. The mentality of a resident on overnight call is different than one going home that day. When we are trying to get out, anything and everything that happens to delay our exit (and eventual return) to the hospital increases stress. Our goal becomes to provide the care that we need to provide so we can finish our day. There is less time to delve into interesting findings, spend time with patients, and think. Education time gets squashed out. When on overnight call, we know we aren't going anywhere. This produces a relaxed atmosphere, or at least not one as constrained by time pressure. Rather than the always intense pace of a normal day with an uncertain end, intensity varies. There is time to teach, learn and discuss. It is frankly more fun to do the job all the way and stay overnight, than do it almost all the way, but just as stressed and tired, but without the benefit that comes at the cost of the few extra hours.