Tired doctors are risky drivers
■ An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.
Quick View. Posted Jan. 31, 2005
First-year residents are twice as likely to have a car crash and almost six times as likely to have a near miss after working an extended shift of 24 or more hours.
Those statistics, when compared with interns finishing shorter days, are part of a study in the Jan. 13 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.
The study, "Extended Work Shifts and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes among Interns," is available online (link).
The research was done as part of the Harvard Work Hours, Health and Safety study and was conducted before resident hour restrictions went into effect July 1, 2003. The American Medical Association supported the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education work-hour reforms.
Source: "Extended Work Shifts and the Risk of Motor Vehicle Crashes among Interns," New England Journal of Medicine, Jan. 13