Did Limiting Resident Work Hours Hurt Us?

I’ve always wondered about this. I trained right in the middle of the change in the laws. I averaged 104 hours/week on duty in my internship. Work out those numbers and it’s absurd. Not to mention I was making less than minimum wage. At the time I was pretty bummed but I sure did a lot of resuscitations and a TON of overnights in the ICU. I basically came out after that year mentally/emotionally/physically exhausted but in retrospect I’m kinda proud of it.

I’ve always been ambivalent about whether I would want anyone else to be subject to that kind of combo of torture/abuse and hardcore learning. Let alone the risk to patients. Here’s an article in the NYT about the same issue for surgeons. They basically say it’s not working for them. That many younger surgeons are lacking the equivalent of an entire year of experience when they’re done training.

NYT Article

What do you think?

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