Saturday, January 2, 2016

Residency Work-Hour Restrictions Ought to be Individualized

There's been a bit of kerfuffle over resident duty hours lately.

For those unfamiliar with the topic, physicians in training in the United States have traditionally lived in the hospital- hence why they were called residents- and available to patients 24/7.  Over time, concerns about patient safety led to limits on how many hours could be worked consecutively in the hospital.  In 2003, the maximum number of hours worked per week was restricted to 80 hours.  In 2011, the maximum work day for first year residents was restricted to 16 hours- for second year residents and above the limit was set at 24 hours of work plus 6 hours for handing off patient care.

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Residency Application Process suffers from Misaligned Incentives

Doctors who wish to practice in the United States must apply for and undergo a residency in a particular specialty in order to practice medicine.  Some residencies are considered more desirable and competitive than others.  I am a fourth year medical student, applying for a General Surgery residency, and I have to say the process of applying to residencies has gotten somewhat out of hand.