Th ACGME has come out with new and improved recommendations for resident work hour restrictions. Some highlights:
*Interns have to inform patients of their role in patient care (i.e... Although I'm wearing a white coat and a stethoscope around my neck, I'm a pretty green neophyte at this whole doctoring business. Just thought you'd like to know. Enjoy your chicken broth and cold coffee.)
*Interns cannot work more than 16 consecutive hours. Fortunately, the ACGME chose not to co-opt the Institute of Medicine's (IOM) recommendation that residents are allotted time for a five hour nap period after 16 hours or work. Because that's just, you know, sort of embarassing. Because then you have to assign blankies and pillows to all the fresh faced interns and make sure snackies are available in the call rooms and it just becomes a logistical nightmare for residency program directors.
*According to the wording of the ACGME report, it appears that interns are not allowed to do anything involving patient care without "level 1 or 2a supervision". That means the attending physician either has to be standing right next to the young doc or at least somewhere on the premises. So all those central lines and chest tubes and code blues that happen in the middle of the night have to be handled by older residents.
Ah, the slow death of general surgery....