HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Residency Bad for Patients

Ezra Klein has a great post on the need to reform residency programs.  He writes,

Images_2 Being a medical resident is bad job. 80-hour workweeks, . . .

But being the patient of a medical resident is arguably worse. A tired doctor makes mistakes. And mistakes can kill you. Which is why I have so little patience for the caterwauling around new rules meant to impose some minimal regulations on how hard residents work. How minimal? 16-hour workdays. And the next one can start after a five hour nap period. Of course, this is merely an Institute of Medicine report making these recommendations, and thus it's not binding, and won't be enforced. And so patients will die, and medical malpractice premiums will rise, and doctors will complain, and all so we can keep this bizarre program that understands apprenticeship as a mixture of masochism and cost-cutting.

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