Rookie Docs Can Work Longer, 24-Hour Shifts Under New Rules

Mar 10, 2017

Rookie doctors can work up to 24 hours straight under new work limits taking effect this summer. Supporters say the move will enhance training but foes maintain it will do just the opposite. 

A Chicago-based group that establishes work standards for U.S. medical school graduates announced the change. It reinstates a rule giving rookies the same work-shift caps as advanced residents. An 80-hour per week limit remains in place for residents at all levels.

The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education says the changes focus on continuity of care, but allow other residents to take over for exhausted doctors.  Opponents include the American Medical Student Association and a union for residents.