23  Jul  19 marta-crispens category Marta Crispens

The hazards of sleep deprivation | Marta Ann Crispens, MD, MBA, FACOG

A recent study in the New England Journal of Medicine reported that within the constraints of an 80-hour work week, more flexible work hour restrictions for internal medicine residents that did not specify shift lengths or time off between shifts did not adversely affect 30-day mortality or other measures of patient safety.A randomized trial of surgical residents similarly found that less restrictive work hours was associated with non-inferior patient outcomes as compared to a more restrictive work hours policy.2  But what if this is the wrong question?  Perhaps the question is not how to optimize the 80-hour week, but whether it is possible to reconcile the 80-hour week and 24-hour shifts with the realities of human physiology. Continue reading