Last week several groups, including Public Citizen and the American Medical Student Association, along with leading medical researchers, petitioned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to step in and limit the number of hours that physicians-in-training can work. They contend that shorter hours will protect patients as well as the doctors' own health and safety.I say, go for it!
Resident physicians should have work limits to reduce mistakes caused by fatigue, just as the federal government restricts the time spent working for employees in aviation, railroad, maritime and highway transportation jobs, according to the advocates.
The groups want OSHA to require that hospitals record and retain the work schedules of residents and fellows and that the agency conduct surprise inspections, establish confidential whistle-blower procedures and levy fines for violations.
Responsibility for regulating and enforcing work hours for resident physicians now falls to the Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.
Then make sure attendings get the same treatment.
After all, we know medical issues only happen during the day. As you can plainly see, as we extrapolate these same workplace restrictions to attending physicians, nurses will risk being in violation of OSHA regulations if they call us after hours!
No, more late night interruptions of my sleep cycles. No more weekend call! Patient's won't suffer a bit! Even they'll get more sleep! See how good this will be for everyone? Especially when we add tens of millions of more people to the health care ranks in 2014 - everyone's going to LOVE the hours!
Really. I'm likin' this!