Opinion: Keep Limits Intact on Medical Residents’ Work Hours

May 15, 2019

(NPR) – Would you rather your doctors be well-rested, with a limit on how many hours they can work? Or would you rather they work longer shifts, seeing you through the critical hours of your illness and with fewer handoffs of your care? That’s the choice being reexamined after a study published in March in the The New England Journal of Medicine found that longer shifts for medical residents were just as safe as shorter shifts. The results, which support an earlier study that also found no association between shift length and patient safety, have led some physicians to suggest that the issue of how long residents should work has now been “laid to rest.” 

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