The Plain Dealer, August 8, 2011
In the world of medical education, there's no shortage of opinions about the number of hours new doctors can -- or should -- work. So it's not surprising that there was controversy early last month when, for the second time in less than a decade, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education reduced duty hours for residents, citing fatigue-related medical errors. That mandate decreased by nearly half the number of consecutive hours that first-year doctors-in-training can spend on the job. On the surface, discussion in the medical community about the change has focused on patient safety. But the new standards also have sparked a debate about the commitment it takes to be a competent clinician, work-life balance and what it all means for the changing face of medicine.