Only about 3% of physicians in residency programs said they worked more than 80 hours per week in the previous month during the 2005-06 academic year, according to a new survey by the Chicago-based Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The ACGME, which established the weekly work standard in July 2003, said its most recent confidential survey of residents showed a continued decrease in the percentage of doctors-in-training who violated national guidelines by working in excess of 80 hours.
Patients deserve alert, available, rested and competent physicians at all times, said David Leach, a physician who is executive director of the ACGME. The system can no longer depend on an individuals vigilance to achieve safety. Safety and patient-centered care must be built into the design.