Building cyclic schedules for emergency department physicians

Yann Ferrand, Michael Magazine, Uday S. Rao, Todd F. Glass

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Physicians at a branch of the emergency department at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center complained that their schedules were too erratic because of the multitude of operating requirements, regulatory constraints, physician preferences, and holiday requests. We addressed this issue by using integer programming to build cyclic schedules that can be repeated throughout the year. These schedules are flexible enough o handle incorporating holidays, work assignments, and vacation requests ex post. After we rolled out the calendar-year-based cyclic schedule, we captured statistics to assess the viability and the quality of the yearly schedule generated. Surveys of the physicians and the scheduler after implementation showed that the new schedule provides predictability and well-balanced work patterns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)521-533
Number of pages13
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Cyclic schedule
  • Health care: Emergency department physician scheduling
  • Integer programming applications

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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