Schmidt, Sethi & Akmajian Blog


Posted by James D. Campbell | Mar 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Recently, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) made a dangerous decision to increase work hours for new doctors.  Now, new doctor, so called first year residents, can work up to 28 hours in a row for a shift!

This is dangerous not only to patient safety, but to the health and wellbeing of the public as a whole.  Obviously, when people are sleep deprived, they make mistakes.  This is especially true when the doctor making these critical decisions is brand new to the practice of medicine. 

Many older doctors recall the days of unlimited shifts when they routinely worked more than 24 hours at a time.  Their horror stories include falling asleep when trying to insert an IV, depression, making medication mistakes, and misreading tests.  Moreover, there are numerous documented car accidents that have been caused by overly tired new doctors driving when they have no business being behind the wheel.   

The motivating factor behind this decision is cost savings.  Hospitals and doctor practice groups reap the benefits of having these new doctors work these excessive hours.  The cost is patient safety and the new doctor's health and well being. 

What can you do about this new dangerous situation?  You are well within your rights to simply ask your doctor at a hospital, “How long have you been on your shift?”  If the answer is more than 14 hours, you need to be very careful about that doctor's ability to safely treat you or your loved one. 

About the Author

James D. Campbell

Jim Campbell is an experienced medical malpractice trial lawyer. Jim learned the craft of medical malpractice litigation law representing physicians and hospitals throughout the State of Arizona. He successfully tried many lawsuits on behalf of physicians and hospitals, even when the odds were overwhelmingly against his client. Now, Jim uses his skill and experience representing patients. His defense experience gives him an advantage in anticipating the tactics that physicians and their lawyers will use. He is able to proactively engineer his client's case to successfully meet those strategies.


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