Shorter Resident Hours Now in Effect

As of last Friday, first residents will no longer have to endure the sleepless nights and long shifts that their predecessors had to endure.  On July 1, 2011 the rules changed.  Now, the number of consecutive hours that a resident can work has been substantially reduced from 30 hours to 16 hours.  At least eight hours off must be granted between shifts, work weeks should be capped at 80 hours and residents should be allowed at least four days off per month.

The change is designed to promote patient safety by reducing doctor fatigue and resulting errors.  However, some doctors, particularly those who had to go through the sleeplessness typically associated with residency, are concerned that residents will not learn as much as they should under the new rules.

What do you think?  Are you concerned about additional doctors being responsible for your care while you are in the hospital or do you believe that the changes will decrease instances of medical malpractice in Pennsylvania?