Extended intern work shifts really do affect quality of care

December 1, 2004

Two studies published in the same issue of the New England Journal of Medicine (10/28/04), have found that when first-year residents worked the traditional extended work shifts, they got less sleep, experienced an increase of "attentional failures," and made more medical errors than they did when they worked shorter shifts. Both studies were conducted to address the lack of data on interns' work hours and their effect on their performance.