Council Calls for More Limited Working Hours for Residents, Interns
On Wednesday, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education proposed new work regulations for hospital residents, in an effort to ensure patient safety and reduce medical errors, the AP/San Diego Union-Tribune reports.
The draft recommendations -- published in the New England Journal of Medicine -- revise regulations adopted seven years ago. They include:
- A maximum work shift of 16 hours for medical interns, down from 24 hours;
- A maximum work shift of 24 hours for medical residents beginning their second year;
- Closer supervision of residents by an experienced physician; and
- A requirement that residents and supervisors explain their role to patients.
The recommendations also suggest maintaining a maximum work week of 80 hours for all hospital residents.
According to ACGME CEO Thomas Nasca, the update was necessary to meet the goals of graduate medical education, including ensuring patient safety and instilling professionalism among residents.
The draft rules are available for public comment on the ACGME website until Aug. 9.If approved by the group's board, the regulations likely would be implemented after July 2011 (Tanner, AP/San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/23). This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.