Medical students graduate, on average, with $140,000 in debt, with many having loans in excess of $200,000.

The majority who enter school wishing to practice primary care often change their minds when greeted with this fiscal reality. Combined with the fact that primary care role models are overburdened in a practice environment so toxic towards generalist practice, it is no wonder that most students change their minds, and gravitate ...

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Some professors at the Harvard Medical School are the biggest beneficiaries of funding and gifts from the drug industry.

These conflicts of interest are causing some dissension within the student body, with some feeling "violated" when being lectured by professors who are paid consultants to drug makers.

This places the school in a difficult position. On one hand, especially at a school as revered as Harvard, ...

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To his credit, Dr. Thomas J. Nasca, chief executive of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, is aware of the many problems in trying to limit work hours for physicians in training.

This topic has been frequently discussed on this blog, but some points bear repeating.

The first are the ethical quandaries that the cap often places on residents. In one example, a doctor wanted ...

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The controversy surrounding drug industry influence in continuing medical education continues to grow.

Merrill Goozer talks about a recent case where the Medscape, the physician internet portal site, is alleged to have illegally conspired with Amgen to promote the off-label use of Aranesp and Embrel. According the to complaint, "The scheme was to increase market share through the covert commercialization of CME programs."

I recently cited internal ...

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Surgical residents in the United States are currently restricted to working less than 80 hours per week.

If you think that's extreme, consider what's happening the UK, where surgeons are capped at 58 hours per week (via Dr. Wes). Furthermore, that cap is set to go down to 48 hours.

Apparently, these caps are rarely enforced, as "only 25% of surgeons think their human resource ...

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The Institute of Medicine recently recommended a requirement that medical and surgical residents have a minimum sleep period of 5 hours in any 24-hour work period, with a maximum shift length of 16 hours. This was a follow-up to the 2003 ruling which limited resident work-hours to 80 hours per week.

That is the focus of this week's poll. Are the Institute of Medicine's recommended restrictions on residents' ...

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Doctors in training often do so in their prime family-rearing years.

A few pediatric residencies are offering part-time residency options, designed for those who also want to raise their own families. Proponents argue that residents can not only get more rest, but also avoid depression, which affected almost a quarter of pediatrics residents.

Combined with the talk of further limiting work hours down to 56 ...

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Note to today's senior residents: The real world doesn't have work hour restrictions.

Resident work hour restrictions

Boston's BI-Deaconess' surgery program was cited for violations of the strict resident work hour restrictions. No doubt, this is happening in hospitals across the country:

"When your 80 hours are up on Friday and someone comes in with a ruptured aneurysm, we don't have the luxury of saying 'Sorry, I have to go home,'" said Dr. Scott Johnson, a transplant surgeon who has headed the hospital's surgery training ...

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Work Hours Reform

If I Knew Then - Dr. Meeta Prasad, MD, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, on Work Hours Reform
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