Sleep Deprivation in Medical Residents

Dr. Greene’s perspective on sleep deprivation…

Sleep Deprivation

We all know it’s true – interns and residents in medical training programs don’t get enough rest. The Accreditation Council on Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) has released statistics confirming this and citing one in five training institutions with violating current work-hour standards. I believe that those standards would be inadequate, even if met.

We know that sleep deprivation is unhealthy and can impair judgment as much or more than drinking alcohol. Even though the rigorous training schedule has many positive sides, it is now time for organized medicine to set an example for patients by adopting a healthy lifestyle despite the inconvenience. And it is past time to stop subjecting residents and patients to the risks of sleep deprivation.

We need to set healthier work-hour limits and enforce them.

Dr. Alan Greene

Dr. Greene is the founder of (cited by the AMA as “the pioneer physician Web site”), a practicing pediatrician, father of four, & author of Raising Baby Green & Feeding Baby Green. He appears frequently in the media including such venues as the The New York Times, the TODAY Show, Good Morning America, & the Dr. Oz Show.

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