Interim Physicians Blog

Dr. Ken's Corner: are patients harmed when residents work fewer hours?

Posted by Ken Teufel M.D. on Sep 4, 2019 1:01:31 PM

When work hours for residents in training were capped at 80 hours per week, two questions came up:

  1. Will residents have enough time to learn everything they need to know?
  2. Will the residents' future patients suffer as a consequence?
A recent study appears to have answered these questions.

The study's investigators faced persistent "speculation that physicians completing residency today have less robust clinical experience before entering unsupervised practice compared with pre-reform residency cohorts" (per July 2019 BMJ research.) They assumed, however, that "it might also be possible that residents who are less fatigued consolidate their knowledge better and have equivalent or greater clinical competency both during and after residency."

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Topics: Dr. Ken's Corner, Residents in Training