Doctors Can Now Work 28 hours Straight Starting July, Here’s More

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Mar 15, 2017 06:18 AM EDT

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education has recently declared that doctors need to spend a maximum of 28 hours as a shift cap. The latest shift cap is supposed to be implemented starting from July, (Photo : Carsten Koall/Getty Images)

The working hours for rookie doctors got a bit longer. According to latest reports, the group that lays down rules for doctors has recently scrapped the 16-hour cap on shifts for recent graduate doctors or student physicians

Starting from July 1, 2017, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education(ACGME) would now allow all the first year student physicians or interns to work 24 hours without any break. However, this 24-hour cap shift might also exceed to 28 hours.

The ACGME has recently declared that the 16-hour shift that was implemented in 2011 simply doesn't live up to the promises the student physicians make. Also, it has caused some new problems to come up.

The Task Force [review panel] has determined that the hypothesized benefits associated with the changes made to the first-year resident scheduled hours in 2011 have not been realized," the ACGME said in relation to the rule changes, "and the disruption of team-based care and supervisory systems has had a significant negative impact on the professional education of the first-year resident student physicians, and effectiveness of care delivery of the team as a whole."

Dr. Anai Kothari, one of the Task Force members said, the cap might occasionally prevent student physicians from seeing the surgeries starting till the end. He further added that even though long shifts are infrequent, they are also important when needed. According to NPR, the new rule change was proposed in November 2016.

The American Medical Student Association and the Committee of Interns and Residents had also opposed this change Forbes reported. One of the first year student physicians has also called it a patriarchal hazing system. However, the group said that the 24-hour shift is a cap, not a floor. Residents in many cases might never experience 24 hours clinical cap shift.

The ACGME is relaxing the regulations on shift, but it is still maintaining the regulations in other areas. Both student physicians and residents won't be allowed to work more than 80 hours a week. Also, they would receive one day off from medical education in the seven days span.

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