September 23, 2009

Not just fatigue – stressed doctors mess up, too

By Kelley Luckstein

Want to know if a doctor-in-training is stressed out or tired and about to make a big mistake? Just ask. docs-in-or


A study published on Tuesday finds that resident doctors know when they are exhausted, upset or overwhelmed and when they are, they are far more likely to admit they made an error.


What they are admitting is that sleepiness is not the only factor. Above and beyond that is general distress and mental fatigue, researchers reported in the Journal of the American Medical Association.


While fatigue is important, there is this whole domain of distress beyond fatigue that also demands attention," Dr. Colin West of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who led the study, said in a telephone interview.


Reuters by Maggie Fox, 09/22/09

Tags: fatigue, General Internal Medicine, stress

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