Welcome

Thank you for visiting Paducahsun.com, online home of The Paducah Sun.

Calendar
June 2012
S M T W T F S
27 28 29 30 31 01 02

Click here to submit an event.

New rules extend rookie doctors' shifts

By LINDSEY TANNER AP Medical Writer

CHICAGO -- Rookie doctors can work up to 24 hours straight under new work limits taking effect this summer -- a move supporters say will enhance training and foes maintain will do just the opposite.

A Chicago-based group that establishes work standards for U.S. medical school graduates has voted to eliminate a 16-hour cap for first-year residents. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education announced the move Friday as part of revisions that include reinstating the longer limit for rookies -- the same maximum allowed for advanced residents.

An 80-hour per week limit for residents at all levels remains in place under the new rules.

Dr. Anai Kothari, a third-year resident on a council panel that recommended the changes, says he only occasionally works 24-hour shifts. The extra hours give him time to finish up with patients instead of being sent home in the middle of a case, said Kothari, who works at Loyola University Medical Center near Chicago.

But first-year resident Dr. Samantha Harrington thinks it will endanger the safety of residents and patients.

Harrington says her 14-hour shifts this winter at Cambridge Hospital near Boston are already plenty long. To stay awake while driving home after work, she sometimes rolls down the window to let the freezing air blast her in the face.

Harrington says the grueling hours are "based on a patriarchal hazing system," where longtime physicians think "'I went through it, so therefore you have to go through it too.'" She is a member of the Committee of Interns and Residents, a union group that opposes the work-shift changes. So does the American Medical Student Association.

Dr. Kelly Thibert, the group's president, says putting a 16-hour cap on all residents' work shifts would be a safer way to even the playing field.

The accreditation council has for years wrestled with ensuring that doctors are adequately trained but not over-worked.

In 2003, the council implemented national standards that established the 24-hour shift cap and 80-hour work week for all residents. After an Institute of Medicine report raised additional safety concerns about sleep-deprived residents, the council in 2010 shortened work shift caps for first-year residents to 16 hours.

Critics of the shorter limit said it short-changed rookie doctors. Dr. Karl Bilimoria, a Northwestern University surgery professor, said some residents have complained that they've had to leave work in the middle of surgeries.

Bilimoria led a study published last year suggesting that first-year residents could work longer without endangering patient safety or their own well-being. The research was among the findings that helped persuade panel to recommend lifting the 16-hour cap.

"We all agree that nobody wants tired physicians" said Dr. Rowen Zetterman, board chairman.

He said the new rules give training programs more flexibility, help eliminate abrupt handoffs of patients and will enhance teamwork among new doctors and their supervisors. The rules say rookie doctors must have supervisors nearby, and those more experienced doctors can step in if a new resident is exhausted, Zetterman said.

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Your comment has been submitted for approval
captcha a756d0074eb541f4ac86057df33272c2
Top Classifieds
  • Purebred Yorkie puppies, no papers, t ... Details
  • BASENJI (very rare) or Cocker pups. 2 ... Details
  • Men's Trek 7300 andWomen's ... Details
  • FNB Bank, Inc. will be accepting seal ... Details
  • SEEING is believing! Don't buy p ... Details
  • FISHING RETREAT 4-SALE Older Mobile ... Details
  • 9801 Enlow Dr. 2 Acres, 3 lg. bdrm., ... Details
  • Details
  • HandymanSpecial 3 BR 1 BA fenced inba ... Details
  • 3 BR, 2 ba, C/A, fenced in backyard, ... Details
  • 26ft Coachman Cascade (2004) 13ft sli ... Details
  • AUTOMOVER SPECIAL6 lines - 14 dayson ... Details
  • 2011 Cadillac CTS 4 dr., cream color, ... Details

Most Popular
  1. Moors Resort flourishing
  2. 'See the stars under the stars'
  3. Lakes events
  1. DOE awarding 10-year contract for local cleanup
  2. City and county populations make small gains
  3. Fleet budget sparks examination
  1. Moors Resort flourishing
  2. 'See the stars under the stars'
  3. Lakes events
Discussion

Check out these recently discussed stories and voice your opinion...