New Study Shows Nearly Half of Doctors in Study In Traffic Accidents or 'Close Calls' reports DeFrancisco Law
Strain of long hours is not only a concern for those in the hospital
Mayo Clinic researchers found that 11% of medical interns within their study reported being involved in accidents while training. Another 43% of those within the study reported having what they considered close calls.
"The mere fact that motor vehicle incidents are common among residents brings the issues of resident fatigue, sleepiness and distress to a new level of priority," study researcher Dr. Colin West, M.D., Ph.D., who is an internal medicine physician at the Mayo Clinic, said in a statement. "New interventions designed to address both resident fatigue and distress may be needed to promote patient and resident safety."
The study, which was published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings journal, included 300 residents at the Mayo Clinic who completed a survey. The survey spanned 2007 to 2011, with a section being filled out each quarter. The researchers discovered that those who reported having near-misses, as well as those who had been in accidents, could link the accident to factors that included fatigue, sleepiness, burnout and depression.
The fatigue of doctors as they attempt to complete residencies is not a new revelation. There was a study within the Archives of Surgery, which showed that nearly half of a surgery resident's waking hours were operating on less than 100% mental capacity. The study noted most were working with 80% faculty, to be exact.
The research points to a particular concern of not only doctor and public safety when it comes to driving, but the general toll society may be placing on those seeking to succeed in a job where lives are literally at stake.
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