An end to 24-hour shifts for medical residents
Published Wednesday, July 21, 2010 7:04PM EDT
Medical residents at three Montreal hospitals will be able to catch up on their sleep thanks to an announcement that they will no longer have to work 24-hour shifts.
McGill medical students studying internal medicine and working a residency at the Jewish General Hospital, The Royal Victoria Hospital or the Montreal General Hospital will work either a night shift or a day shift – but not both, explained Dr. Tom Maniatis, who spearheaded the change.
Maniatis said students are overworked and it was time to change a longstanding protocol.
"We felt the time was right to make this change," he said.
"It makes common sense to wonder about a doctor who's been working 18 to 20 hours and he's the one taking care of you. There's certainly some reason to say this could this be done better."
The changes at this point only affect those studying in internal medicine, the second largest program at McGill with 150 residents.
Jonathan Spicer, in his fourth year of medical residency, and past president of the McGill Medical Residents Association, said he feels optimistic about the change.
"It can be a quiet experience where you get a lot of sleep just as it can be a hectic experience, very busy where you're up for a straight 24 hours consecutively," he said. "I think it has a lot of potential to be a good thing."