Will Residents Wake from the Nightmare?

Everyone knows about the grueling and inhumane hours medical residents are forced to work. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education just set up new guidelines that limits the hours medical interns can work at one time: first-year residents can work no longer than 16-hour shifts, and second- and third-year residents are limited to working no longer than 24-hour shifts.

Rite of passage though it may be, the long hours medical residents have been subjected to have caused fatigue-induced errors and may have put patients in harm’s way. Not everyone agrees with the new guidelines. Some medical educators feel residents won’t learn as much with the restricted schedules and also believe residents must learn to think and work under pressure and while fatigued.