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Doc chat: Are residents' long hours to blame for medical mistakes?

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Air date: May 12, 2013

Host: Barbara Lewis

Medical Edcuation
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Interview: David Crabb, M.D., 'Sound Medicine' regular guest.

In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education limited the number of hours medical residents could work continuously from 36 to 24 hours. In 2011, the ACGME cut the number of hours again, this time to 16. The goal is to reduce the number of medical mistakes interns make and provide a better quality of life for residents. However, a recent study published online by JAMA Internal Medicine found that the reduced hours for residents may not have the desired effects. According to David Crabb, M.D., the residents working a 16-hour day didn’t make any fewer medical mistakes than those working 30 hours. Dr. Crabb explains why and said he believes changes will be made to the 2011 policy.