Work Hours: A Resident's Reflection on Time


  • Andrew R Orr Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania


This short essay explores the concept of time in medicine through the construct of kairos, the transcendent character of a given moment. Reflecting on a powerful experience during training, a former medical resident examines the heart of the doctor-patient relationship using this lens and wonders about current barriers to its practical application. By suggesting several paradigm shifts for the health system at large and advocating for a return to social connection guided by the medical humanities, the author hopes to encourage readers to help create space together to recognize the power of everyday moments in patient care.

Author Biography

Andrew R Orr, Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine

Section of Hospital Medicine


“The Inner Landscape of Beauty.” On Being. NPR. Aug. 2017. Radio.

Woolf, Virginia. To the Lighthouse. New York: Harcourt, 1981. Print.

Nietzsche, Friedrich. On the Advantages and Disadvantages of History for Life. Indianapolis: Hackett, 1980. Print.




How to Cite

Orr, A. R. (2020). Work Hours: A Resident’s Reflection on Time. Ars Medica, 15(2), 5. Retrieved from