After graduating from medical school, doctors have to learn how to practice medicine. In doing so, they go through a rigorous residency program where they have the opportunity to get hands-on experience treating patients while working under qualified medical professionals.
For surgical residents specifically, these training hours are especially precious. Experience is the greatest teacher. Thus, the more time residents have to learn, the more prepared they are when they start performing surgeries on their own.
In recent years, the board responsible for accrediting residency programs placed strict caps on the amount of hours residents were allowed to work.
Based on these new schedules, residents started spending considerably less time learning. Limiting hours week by week and year by year didn’t seem to be a very drastic change initially. According to a recent NY Times blog post, over the course of their residency program, surgeons may be missing out on as much as a year’s worth of experience.
In making their decision, the board cited sleep experts, pressure from politicians and unions, overall health and well-being of the residents, and the possibility that patients may be in danger from sleep-deprived doctors. While these points are valid and should be addressed, the board failed to recognize the affect these new guidelines would have on the training of doctors.
Time restrictions for surgical residents are important for the well-being of doctors and their patients, but residency programs need to make changes to account for lost experience.
Patients’ lives are at risk if their surgeons aren’t as prepared as they should be. If surgical residents are losing out on potentially a year’s worth of experience because of these new time restrictions, the accreditation board should make residency programs a year longer.
Every day, doctors take lives in their hands, and just as much as they need to be well rested before treating a patient, they also need to be well trained. There is no substitute for hands-on experience. If you or a loved one was a victim of medical malpractice, you have to call me right away 1 (877) 944-4373. I can help you get the compensation you deserve.
Author: Tim Misny | For 33 years, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving “Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus & Cincinnati, Ohio.” You can reach Tim by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call at 1 (877) 944-4373.