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November 08, 2006



It's unsettling to see this out in print, but I think it's one of those things that anyone who has spent any time as a patient really kind of "guessed" before it was here in black and white.

Overwork. The demand on doctors.


Gimpy Mumpy

Hi MB :)
It really is scary. It also reminds me of a Grey's Anatomy episode where a surgical intern stays for a 12 hour surgery after already working his 48hour shift. He wakes in hospital to find out he fell asleep while driving home and caused an accident that killed a pregnant woman. He makes the comment that his decision to stay for that surgery that may have saved one life resulted in his taking another. Although it was from a tv show it was a very good point.


It seems that you have the same problem in the US as we do here in the UK. Although working hours are now under tighter control it wasn't uncommon for Junior Doctors to be on call for 100 hours at a time. Which in effect meant when there pager went off they had to go to work, even if that meant that they had worked 48 hours without sleep.

Obviously the implications of this are horrendous and European legislation has curtailed this to some extent. However they are still expected to work 72-hour weeks, which is far too much for someone who you could be entrusting your life to.

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