The Cost of Letting Medical Residents Get a Little Sleep

May 21, 2009

For years, various groups have urged that academic medical centers should reduce the total hours and consecutive hours that medical residents work, and focus more on educational programming for them. A study released Wednesday by the RAND Corporation and the University of California at Los Angeles examines the cost of enacting such reforms, and says that they would cost teaching hospitals $1.6 billion annually. The report acknowledges that society might benefit from such changes, but raises questions about whether academic medicine can afford them.

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