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Providence surgical resident authors new survey on limited hours

There seem to be many medical studies being released that center around medical errors and surgeon mistakes. Surveys can be useful for the medical industry because they often reveal information related to routine surgery or hospital policies that may not otherwise be brought to light. For example, a survey on surgery may show that understaffing or lack of communication contributes to problems with post-surgical care or mistakes that are made during the surgery itself.

A surgical resident in Providence is the author of a new study which examined the effects of limited hours for surgical interns. The survey focused specifically on the 2011 change which cut surgeon residents' time in the hospital. Interns who were in their second year or more were cut to 28-hour shifts while first-year interns were limited to 16. 

The results of the survey, which centered on interns in graduate programs, show that the majority of surgical residents feel that the reduced hours cause harm to their education and also affect their patients in a negative way. Less than half of the residents sent the survey, filled it out and returned it. Many residents admitted to working more than the new regulations allowed.

While it is important to make sure that a doctor or surgeon is not overworked, there are obviously some issues still occurring even though residents are working less hours. Surgical mistakes for patients can cause lifelong problems, require additional surgeries to correct and be the source of pain and suffering. When a patient has been the victim of a surgical error, they may want to consider talking with an experienced attorney about their legal rights.

Source: Pacific Standard, "When Hospital Regulations Go Too Far," Andrew Seaman, May 28, 2013

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