RESIDENTS' 80-HOUR WEEK

Physician's Money Digest, May 31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 10

The Accreditation Council forGraduate Medical Education (www.acgme.org) has issued rules thatlimit work shifts for medical residentsto 80 hours a week. Marathonshifts and 120-hour workweeks forresidents have been cited as a possiblecause of some medical mistakesand resident burnout. Therules, which take effect on July 1,also mandate 1 day off out of every7, and a 10-hour rest period betweenbeing on call and working ashift. Critics are calling for federalrules, however, charging that a privategroup can't muster the enforcementmuscle that the governmentcan. Certification by thecouncil is voluntary, but many medicalcolleges seek it to qualify forMedicare funding and/or for stateboard certification.