Debate on medical resident work hours continues

December 2, 2010

The Chicago-based American Hospital Association recently urged OSHA to deny a petition asking the agency to regulate resident work hours.

In a Nov. 16 letter (.pdf file) to OSHA administrator David Michaels, AHA argued resident hours should be regulated by the American Council for Graduate Medical Education, which accredits approximately 8,800 graduate medical residency programs.

In September, Washington-based Public Citizen and other groups petitioned OSHA to limit resident work hours. Later that month, the board of directors of Chicago-based ACGME approved new standards setting stronger requirements for shift limits for first-year residents, intern supervision and fatigue management.

AHA maintains work hours cannot be considered in isolation because training time impacts education quality and patient care.