A Harvard-led group of researchers looking at the impact of working-time restrictions on US residents have found no evidence that reduced training hours had any impact on the quality of care delivered by new physicians.
When new rules by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education capped medical residents’ training hours at 80 hours per week in 2003, critics worried that the change would leave physicians-in-training unprepared for the challenges of independent practice.
Now, new research published July 11 in the journal BMJ and led by scientists in the Department of Health Care Policy in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School (HMS) says that their warnings appear largely unjustified. The team’s analysis found no evidence that reduced training hours had any impact on the quality of care delivered by new physicians.
The push to scale back residents’ hours and change other aspects of training was sparked by a series of high-profile patient injuries and deaths believed to stem from clinical errors caused by fatigue......