Medical News Today is reporting that medical interns often work longer hours than mandated according to two studies in the September 2006 issue of JAMA. I knew this all along, but the studies and news are interesting nontheless. According to MNT:
“The study included Web-based surveys of self-reported percutaneous exposures from 2,737 of the estimated 18,447 interns in U.S. postgraduate residency programs from 2002 to 2003. Each month, comprehensive Web-based surveys asked about work schedules and the occurrence of PIs in the previous month.
From a total of 17,003 monthly surveys, 498 PIs were reported. Of these, 294 were due to lacerations from a sharp instrument (such as a scalpel), and 204 were due to a needlestick. Rates of injuries varied significantly, depending on type of residency. Interns in surgery and obstetrics/gynecology residency programs had the greatest risk, presumably because they perform more invasive procedures than other specialties.
More than 80 percent of medical interns surveyed in 2003-2004 indicated they were working hours in excess of what is currently mandated, according to a study in the September issue of JAMA.”
It really is time to start cracking down on these programs. Head on over to HoursWatch and report anonymously.
Yahoo! News reports that U.S. medical students typically face harassment and intimidation by residents and attending physicians according to a study published in the British Medical Journal.
“In fact, 42 percent of seniors said they had been harassed by other students, residents, preclinical professors, clinical professors or attending physicians, or patients. Eighty-four percent said they had been belittled, and 40 percent said they had been harassed and belittled.”
Data was collected on 2900 medical students from 16 different US medical schools. This is no surprise to me. I have been directly involved in insult and intimidation while on the wards.
Go go medical training!
I’m sure most of you have heard the tragic news about Steve Irwin’s death while filming his latest documentary. The man lived large and he absolutely loved what he did.
You don’t see that enough in today’s society. For the most part, people hate what they do for a living. Why are many docs and residents always so hateful? The answer isn’t 100% clear, but I’d be willing to guess that it has something to do with not being entirely happy with life. Not happy like Steve Irwin was.
You know, people [medical students and residents] get “stuck” into living a lifestyle that’s not entirely what they were promised as children. The long hours, the debt, the feeling of letdown to family and friends – all of this plays an important role for those really wishing to get out when they’re not happy. Instead of following their heart and cutting losses, they choose to stick it out. One day they wake up and they’re 50 years old. Fifty years of being truly unfulfilled.
With the freedoms we have today and the near limitless possibilities of anything you want to do, it really shouldn’t come down to this. But, it does. Sadly. God bless Steve Irwin and his family and friends.
We need more people like him.