Start A Petition

Are We Killing Our Young Doctors?

Health & Wellness  (tags: doctors, education, hospitals, health care, medical residency )

- 925 days ago -
It's no secret that medical training is brutal. Medical trainees are not only learning, they are often the primary medical workforce for many hospitals. Patients may see their real doctor only rarely, but they see nurses, residents, and medical students.


We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.


Kathleen M (208)
Sunday January 8, 2017, 2:14 pm
Not just med school students! Residents have killer schedules, too. Thx for sharing Freya.

Jonathan H (0)
Sunday January 8, 2017, 3:09 pm

Darren W (218)
Sunday January 8, 2017, 3:13 pm
Shared article over social media to raise and spread awareness.

Our health AND social services are struggling worldwide

Animae C (508)
Sunday January 8, 2017, 6:36 pm
i can't get access to the article because i have Adblocker!

Darren W (218)
Monday January 9, 2017, 1:09 am
A bit convoluted to gain access, but I managed it.
Here's the text:

Are We Killing Our Young Doctors?

Peter Lipson ,


I write on the intersection of science, medicine and culture.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

On the first morning of my third year of medical school, I put on my short white coat and walked onto the OB/GYN ward with a combination of terror and excitement. A few weeks later I was driving up Lake Shore Drive in rumpled scrubs. I had been on call for about a day-and-a-half, and I remember driving north past the Fullerton exit. The next thing I remembered was waking up as my car came to a halt against the cement median dividers, the driver's side a scraped-up mess, the axle cracked, the car un-drivable.

Photographer: Matthew Busch/Bloomberg

I was lucky to walk away from my sleep-driving accident, an event all to common for medical trainees. In the years that followed, medical residents came under new rules that limited the number of hours they could work without rest. These restrictions were often flouted by dedicated young doctors who didn't want to leave their patients, or leave work for their colleagues.

It's no secret that medical training is brutal. Medical trainees are not only learning, but they are often the primary medical workforce for many hospitals. Patients may see their "real" doctor only rarely, but they see their nurses, residents, and medical students several times a day.

Not surprisingly, there is a toll exacted by this kind of work. For years after finishing my residency, I still woke up at night with the sound of ventilator alarms in my head. I was sure I could feel my pager vibrating, whether or not I even had it on. It turns out I wasn't alone. Not only to doctors-in-training hallucinate the sounds and vibrations of their cell phones, they also have high rates of depression and suicidal thoughts.

Late last year, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) proposed increasing the number of hours trainees are allowed to work. First year residents had been limited to 16-hour shifts. The new proposal would increase that to 24 hours of uninterrupted work time. That's more than twice as long as truck drivers are allowed to work.
Recommended by Forbes

Medical trainees are tasked with the incredibly complex task of caring for our loved ones in the hospital. It's not unusual for them to be caring for over a dozen severely-ill patients at a time. They're driving a dozen trucks without enough sleep to keep them from hallucinating. In February, the ACGME is planning on making a final decision on the increase in resident work hours. This is a decision that will affect every patient in the hospital, every future doctor, and every driver who shares the road with them.

Dot A (180)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 9:18 am
It seems that decades ago, our medical institutions became the next grab of corporations. With that said, the 'greed is good' mentality took over the humanitarian business of caring for the sick and injured. Big business hasn't looked back since. They've transformed hospitals into a stock market profit game of gamblers and grabbers from what was once a selfless and highly compassionate field of dedicated professionals. { I've been a patient in one not long ago, and God help us, I can easily see how 1/3 of deaths are due to hospital error, - no joke, it's absolutely true } Those who profit can afford the best doctors, pay for the best hospitals and bedside care, and smile smugly as they get well while the money machine skims over the masses. It's not a surprise that the individuals who desire to truly work to save lives are tested beyond reasonable mortal capabilities. I guess the idea is to eliminate the truly good doctors and keep those $$$ rollin' in. My friend who has been a RN for many years says it's now all about computers in patient care. You know, the lawyers who work out the suites need proof of how a patient has been cared for, and who else but a computer would know that???? ( GoodGrief!!! )- Thanks, Freya~

Birgit W (160)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 2:21 pm
Thanks for sharing..

TOM T (247)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 2:30 pm
Signed Noted, & Shared .....

TOM T (247)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 2:30 pm

Janet B (0)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 6:43 pm

Colleen L (3)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 9:24 pm
Thanks Freya

Margie F (148)
Tuesday January 10, 2017, 10:57 pm
Thank you

Julie W (33)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 3:24 am
This brutal work schedule is dangerous for doctors AND patients.

W. C (7)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 1:23 pm

William C (0)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 1:49 pm
Thank you.

Lenore K (0)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 3:36 pm

Janet B (0)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 6:26 pm

Margie F (148)
Wednesday January 11, 2017, 10:54 pm
Thanks again

Joanne p (13)
Thursday January 12, 2017, 7:38 am

Darren W (218)
Thursday January 12, 2017, 10:58 am
The NHS (National Health Service ) is at breaking point in Britain

Edith B (146)
Thursday January 12, 2017, 8:59 pm
No one should be subjected to this many hours. It is dangerous for them, and for the people they are aiding.

Margie F (148)
Thursday January 12, 2017, 11:15 pm
Thanks again

Lucy Gachanja (0)
Monday January 16, 2017, 10:17 pm
Thank you for sharing with us really everyone has to be touched by this issue

Val M (83)
Thursday January 19, 2017, 8:20 pm
One the shared cell phones for the on- call medical resident at my hospital (I'm an RN) has the message, please be aware we are responsible for up to 100 patients.. ! (This is in night shift). So, they are hoping only a few will need special medical attention at one time! We often send them text messages, instead of calling, so they can easily see what we need.. I could go on....

Val M (83)
Thursday January 19, 2017, 8:27 pm
(The word, "of" should be the 2nd word in my above posting...).
Dot mentioned the computers.... Well, they are a pain because I actually read what I'm charting! Most doctors and nurses don't have time to really chart in detail... They end up copying what others have written, and just adding a little of their own words...
But, the computers do help medical teams see the essentials quickly, even from a distance..

George L (0)
Sunday January 22, 2017, 8:07 pm

Tin Ling L (0)
Saturday January 28, 2017, 4:27 am
Or, log in with your
Facebook account:
Please add your comment: (plain text only please. Allowable HTML: <a>)

Track Comments: Notify me with a personal message when other people comment on this story

Loading Noted By...Please Wait


butterfly credits on the news network

  • credits for vetting a newly submitted story
  • credits for vetting any other story
  • credits for leaving a comment
learn more

Most Active Today in Health & Wellness

Content and comments expressed here are the opinions of Care2 users and not necessarily that of or its affiliates.

New to Care2? Start Here.