The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has proposed rolling back the 2011 rules that limited resident work hours. This appeared to have been in response to empirical evidence that long hours made these residents a danger to their patients as well as themselves. Now, the ACGME is considering work shifts as long as 28 hours – a significant increase over the current 16 hour maximum.
Surgeons have expressed disdain at the current regulations which can result in a resident leaving during the middle of a procedure. There is also some concern about staying with a patient through a critical period of care.
What would be left in place, however, is the maximum 80 hour weeks averaged over four weeks. A final decision is expected in February.
So what do you think? Do you think the benefits of occasional longer shifts outweigh the dangers? Do you feel leaving the maximum 80 hours averaged over four weeks allows for adequate recovery while conditioning residents for some of the future demands they may face?
Best of luck with your applications!
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