| February 11, 2007
Attendings pick up the patient care slack when house staff goes home, resulting in less teaching.
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…but not less learning, and better patient outcomes to boot!
I think these work-hour restrictions are needed. Some institutions may be adapting to them better than others but that doesn’t condemn the idea.
I interned in the “old days” and worked awful hours. I went 5 straight months without a 24 hour period off duty. My wife tells me that I used to come home telling her about some great experiences. She entertains our non-medical guests with my internship war stories. Since sleep deprivation interferes with memory consolidation, I barely remember the whole year–just a blur.
In theory, if they have enough faculty, it shouldn’t take away from teaching at all, but rather enhance learning. If they can’t afford enough faculty to run a quality residency, then they shouldn’t have a residency. It is time for residencies that exist because of hospitals need for cheap labor to close. All the extra slots accomplish is to drain the third world of badly needed medical school graduates.
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