The Accredation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) took a major step when they limited resident duty hours to a maximum of 80 hours a week and set provisions for rest periods and days free from medical duties. Duty periods cannot last for more than 24 hours although residents may remain on duty for an additionl 6 hours and residents cannont be scheduled for in-house call more than once every 3 nights averaged over 4 weeks. Residents should be given at least 10 hours for rest and personal activities between daily duty periods and in-house call. As a 25 year survivor of “swing shifts” as an emergency physician I have thought a lot about sleep in my medical career. Some times that is all I thought about. I cycled between days, evenings, and midnight shifts for many years. The fact that the ACGME acknowledges that sleep is vital stands as a major accomplishment in graduate medical education. As doctors, this is something we should have known .
Physicians and Sleep