Are Residents in Asia Overworked?

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25 Sep 2016 - General

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In 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education imposed an 80-hour work limit for residents in training. In 2011, a new update was released that stated a maximum shift of 24 hours with a 4 hour transition work and at leat 14 hours of rest in between 24 hour duties.  Many in the medical community expressed concerns over lack of training experience and possible increase in mortality due to frequent patient handoff. A journal published in New England Journal of Medicine debunked this concern by the medical community. A study comparing two groups between residents who adhered to the ACGME rules and residents who followed the conventional, unpredictable work hours. After 1 year of training, the two groups had virtually indistinguishable rates of death, overall complications, and specific types of complications. What was more important was that the group who followed ACGME rules had more supervision from consultants in order to train properly. Of course, this group expressed satisfaction and found a balance between work and life. With this study, the ACGME decided not to change their policy for this year. Residents will still enjoy the more favorable work schedule as stated above.

I feel that Asia should follow this trend rather than stick to the conventional gruelling residency schedule. I feel especially for those in the field of surgery and internal medicine as they really thread the needle in order to pursue residency training. In the Philippines, we still follow the conservationl residency schedule. The main reason for this is to follow tradition (shaking my head). For the MIMS community, do you feel that residents in Asia are overworked? What is the residency schedule in your country?

For the article, please visit the link below:

Marinelle Castro I highly doubt that the Philippines will follow suit. As you have said, there is a shortage of doctors in the Philippines. Hospital administration will always treat residents as extra manpower. If the guidelines for residents 80 hour-workweek pushes through, I think hospitals will ask residents to take a paycut in order to hire more manpower. I understand that limiting workweek for surgeons is ne...
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Theekshana Abayawickrama This is a true story for every doctor especially early in their medical careers. haha :)) You cannot help but yawn in front of patients especially when you are tasked to man the outpatient services after a 24-hour duty. I could only imagine the situation in your specialty which is known to be unforgiving. I wish that they would consider giving you and your co-residents more rest time. This...
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Mark Edmon Tan It will definitely be a lot better if working hours can be "more physiologic" - because residents ill be able to balance hospital time, self-study and family time. However, I don't think that this is feasible in our country at the moment. We are on the verge of a medical crisis because fewer doctors are choosing to stay in the country. If working hours will be decreased, given the sam...
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Haha. That picture! Thanks for giving me a good laugh. It just made a nice day much better :D Well about the article, residents are generally SO overworked. In my country the life of a resident is very very tough. There is no work limit what so ever. Residents are supposed to be at the ward at any given time and seniors expect them to follow every single instruction given and make sure what is said is done. How number of hours the resident can rest depends on how heavy the ward is. In some stati...
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