October 21st, 2009

Resident Fatigue, Distress Can Lead to Medical Errors, Says Study

By Kelley Luckstein

A Mayo Clinic study published recently in the Journal of the American Medical Association, or JAMA, says that residents whodocdepression experienced high levels of either fatigue or distress -- or both -- were more likely to report a medical error. The study reinforces the importance of managing residents' sleep needs and maintaining their feelings of well-being to minimize fatigue and maximize patient safety, according to AAFP Board Chair Ted Epperly, M.D., of Boise, Idaho, who also is program director and CEO of Family Medicine Residency of Idaho…

 

"While changes have been made to reduce fatigue and sleepiness during residency training, other changes may be necessary to more specifically address distress and burnout," said Tait Shanafelt, M.D., a physician at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., and lead author of the study report, in a Sept. 22 press release.

 

AAFP by Barbara Bein, 10/20/09

Tags: Hematology, medical errors, resident fatigue

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