Medical Residents Getting Shorter Work Shifts In Bid To Improve Quality

The Associated Press/The New York Times reports that medical residents will soon be getting shorter work shifts and tighter supervision in a bid to improve quality. "The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education's board of directors approved new rules on Tuesday for more than 110,000 new doctors being trained at U.S. hospitals. The idea is to improve patient safety and reduce medical errors caused by junior doctors working extremely long hours." Doctors in their first year of residency will be limited to 16 consecutive hours of work with "strategic napping." "The maximum shift length remains 24 hours for residents in their second year of training and beyond. Also, medical residents are to tell patients they're being supervised by more experienced physicians, and the hierarchy should be spelled out to patients, the rules say" (9/29).

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