Fatigue Still A Problem

Steven Ginsberg, MD

To the Editor:

Bravo to Dr. Ellis for his remarks regarding fatigue and long work hours in the Fall 2004 issue of the newsletter. Now you even have to make sure that a resident is not too tired to drive. Are they doing this in other critical occupations? How much sleep does the President get before sending our troops into combat?

In my practice we are off the next day after taking call; many practices that I am familiar with function in this fashion.
It always bothered me that surgeons could start long elective cases late at night or work during the night, only to continue with their elective schedule the next day.

Unfortunately, many of the important changes to healthcare cannot occur because of lack of funding. When we do make a change, it is at the discretion of JCAHO, and it often lasts for the duration of the inspection.

Steven Ginsberg, MD
Bridgewater, NJ