The ACGME released its latest work limits for first-year interns on March 10, voting to eliminate a 16-hour working cap and instead allow up to 24 hours.


New working hour rules for medical interns released recently by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education are intended to “find the right balance of reasonable work hours while ensuring we have good patient care and appropriate professional advancement for our trainees,” said Ralph E. Whatley, a professor of internal medicine at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine and senior vice president for research and education at Carilion Clinic.

The change comes after the organization limited both interns and residents in 2003 to 24 hours per shift. In 2010, after more studies, the council shortened the cap again for first-year interns to 16 hours while strongly recommending “strategic napping.”

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