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Safer Schedules for Patients and New Doctors

October 3, 2010
A doctor from the United States uses a stethos...

Image: Wikipedia

The Council for Graduate Medical Education has approved a new limit on the hours that first year medical residents can work – reducing the maximum from 24 to 16 hours, and encouraging napping when possible.

Sadly, the new limits apply only to residents in their first year, leaving other new doctors vulnerable to inhumane schedules.

I’m very pleased that progress is being made in this area. I’ve always been outraged that patient care should be sacrificed to an antiquated system of hazing in hospitals.

Not only will this help decrease mistakes made by sleep-deprived interns, it also sets an example. Knowing that doctors go 24 hours without sleep is the same as watching them pop pills, smoke cigarettes or tear into a Whopper. Doctors would never advise a patient to chronically deprive themselves of sufficient rest, so why in the world is the medical community encouraging that behavior in doctors?

I hope that advocacy groups will continue to push for reforms in workplace safety for medical residents. These changes ensure the health of young doctors, and the safety of patients in their care.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 3, 2010 7:49 pm

    sleep is really importnat for everyone 🙂

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