Would you want a tired doctor who knows you, or a rested one that doesn’t?

That’s question the work-hour restrictions are forcing patients to face.

Internist Robert Centor brings up some good points about the simplistic way about how residents are forced to rest.

Are hospitals going to step up to the plate and pay for the extra staff needed to do the work left behind by residents forced to rest? If not, would patients rather have “a tired physician than no physician?”

Why does the “work” period include teaching conferences? Residents compelled to leave the hospital also miss out on important teaching sessions in the classroom.

Fellow internist Bob Wachter also questions if residents really do sleep during off-hours. These young adults have lives “with significant others, hobbies, laundry, and debts,” and indeed “there is some evidence that they don’t use the time out of the hospital to sleep.”

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