This week marks the one-year anniversary of the Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) duty hour standards that limit first year resident physicians to 16-hour shifts, a decrease from 24 hours.
But the recommendations, which permit intermediate-level and senior residents to work 24-hour shifts, are not strong enough, says the American Medical Student Association (AMSA), the nation’s oldest and largest, independent association for physicians-in-training. AMSA continues to urge the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which is tasked with enforcing safety and health legislation, to address resident work hours.
“AMSA would like to see the 16-hour shift applied to all residents, not just first year interns,” says AMSA National President Dr. Elizabeth Wiley, JD, MPH. “Our hope is that policymakers will recognize that providing Americans with access to quality health care includes duty hour restrictions to keep America’s patients and resident doctors safe.”