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April 12, 2017

Longer Shifts for First-Year Physicians

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently increased the limit on work shifts for first-year physicians from 16 to 24 hours, allowing additional hours beyond that to ensure continuity and education, consistent with the limits in place for residents in their second year and beyond. To many people used to the convention of 8-hour work days and 40-hour work weeks, 24 hour shifts for doctors defy belief. But while some people assume that shorter shifts must be better (because who wants to be cared for by a sleep-deprived doctor), others recognize that shorter shifts mean more handoffs (and who wants to be cared for by a doctor who doesn't know you). 

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education recently increased the limit on work shifts for first-year physicians from 16 to 24 hours, allowing additional hours beyond that to ensure continuity and education, consistent with the limits in place for residents in their second year and beyond.

Do you think that the decision to raise the hourly work shifts for first-year physicians will be beneficial to patients?

 
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