Has your doctor been up for 24 hours? Rule change will allow it for new residents


New guidelines by the organization that oversees medical residency programs for new doctors in the United States will soon allow first-year residents to work shifts as long as 24 hours, eight hours more than the current limit.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, or ACGME, announced Friday that new doctors in their first year of residency can work 80 hours a week starting on July 1, and can work with patients for 24 hours at a stretch.

>> Read more trending news 

The current rule, which was implemented in 2011, allows new residents to work 16 hours straight. The hours were capped from a previous 24-hour limit over concerns that patients care might suffer if new trainees were too tired.

“At the heart of the new requirements is the philosophy that residency education must occur in a learning and working environment that fosters excellence in the safety and quality of care delivered to patients both today and in the future,” ACGME’s chief executive officer Dr. Tomas Nasca said in a memo on the group’s website.

The rule change comes as some doctor groups and educators wondered whether the 16-hour cap actually improved patient safety. Critics contended the shorter hours may have actually caused more medical errors because patients are handed off to other medical staffers more often, according to Forbes.com.

The new guidelines follow a review of new resident hours and the impact on patient care that started in 2015.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Militants kill at least 184 in Egyptian mosque
Militants kill at least 184 in Egyptian mosque

At least 184 people were killed and 125 were injured Friday when Islamist militants exploded a bomb and opened fire on people attending prayers at an Egyptian mosque in the northern section of Sinai, Reuters reported. The attack targeted Al Rawdah mosque in Bir Al-Abed, the Egyptian state-owned news agency MENA reported. No group has claimed responsibility...
Teen shooting injures 1 on Thanksgiving
Teen shooting injures 1 on Thanksgiving

A teen is in custody after shooting another teen during a domestic incident on Thanksgiving, authorities said. The incident happened about 7:45 p.m in the 1200 block of Wondering Way in the Riverbrooke subdivision, according to a Facebook post by the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office. The shooting happened inside a home in which one of the teens...
Uma Thurman blasts Harvey Weinstein in Instagram post
Uma Thurman blasts Harvey Weinstein in Instagram post

Actress Uma Thurman wished everyone a Happy Thanksgiving on Instagram on Thursday, but made one notable exception. Thurman ripped into producer Harvey Weinstein and hinted that she might have been a victim of sexual harassment, The New York Post reported. “Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! (Except you Harvey, and all your wicked conspirators...
Black Friday brings bargains, lines and traffic
Black Friday brings bargains, lines and traffic

For those who do their holiday shopping the brick-and-mortar way, Black Friday is here. That means bargains, but also lines of people and potential traffic problems. Three major shopping facilities in metro Atlanta reported parking lots at least half-full as of 7 a.m. Friday. And shoppers queued up at some big-box stores late Thursday and early Friday...
Why today is no longer Robert E. Lee day in Georgia
Why today is no longer Robert E. Lee day in Georgia

City workers drape a tarp over the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va. AP file/Steve Helber The Friday after Thanksgiving has for decades been known in Georgia as Robert E. Lee’s Birthday. But this year, the day goes by the much more neutral title: “State Holiday...
More Stories