Tired Doctors = Patients at Risk

Here’s a less publicized concern in the quest for quality health care: Recently Liz Kowalczyk, a health reporter at the Boston Globe, wrote about surgical residents at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston (one of the nation’s leading hospitals) working too many hours, in violation of medical education accreditation standards:

Junior surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital have been working too many hours, in violation of patient safety rules, according to a national accrediting organization that is threatening to put the hospital’s surgery training program on probation.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education cited the hospital because a significant number of its surgeons in training, known as residents, were exceeding hour limits and working seven days straight. The organization believes these workloads contribute to fatigue-related mistakes, and has given the hospital until Aug. 15 to fix the problem.
When I get a chance, I’ll be writing a more extensive post about the relationship of working conditions in healthcare fields and increased risk of patient errors.  There’s a lot to say on this topic, making healthcare an important focal point for consideration of how we can create healthier workplaces.

2 responses

    • Readers, Gretchen has launched a very promising new venture, Practicing on Purpose, to counsel and educate lawyers and law students towards pursuing healthier, more meaningful careers.

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