Ehstoday 3308 Nursepromo

Tired Medical Residents More Likely to Be Involved in Car Crashes

Dec. 21, 2012
The demanding schedules for medical residents may make them more vulnerable to car crashes, according to a new Mayo Clinic study.

Those long, hectic work hours in the hospital may help medical residents train for their careers as doctors, but such schedules may also put them at a greater risk of being in a car crash. A poll of 300 Mayo Clinic residents reveals that 11 percent of respondents had been involved in a traffic accident after work, while 43 percent reported “narrowly avoiding” an accident.

The respondents attributed the traffic incidents to fatigue and distress, including feelings of burnout or depression.

“Just like any other field, residents need their recovery time. In order to make good decisions, physicians need to be physically and emotionally well,” said lead author Colin West, M.D., Ph.D., an internal medicine physician at Mayo Clinic. “Residents need to be rested. We don’t want them to have undue amounts of stress.”

It is well documented that medical residents often work long and grueling hours during their 3-year residencies. While intense work schedules help prepare residents to become independent doctors, West stressed it’s important that educators continually update their approach to retain the value of the training while minimizing stress and fatigue.

“The mere fact that motor vehicle incidents are common among residents brings the issues of resident fatigue, sleepiness and distress to a new level of priority,” West explained. “New interventions designed to address both resident fatigue and distress may be needed to promote patient and resident safety.”

Participants completed surveys quarterly from July 1, 2007, through July 31, 2011, during their training period. The study was funded by the Mayo Clinic Department of Medicine Program on Physician Wellbeing and was published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings.

Sponsored Recommendations

ISO 45001: Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems (OHSMS)

March 28, 2024
ISO 45001 certification – reduce your organizational risk and promote occupational health and safety (OHS) by working with SGS to achieve certification or migrate to the new standard...

Want to Verify your GHG Emissions Inventory?

March 28, 2024
With the increased focus on climate change, measuring your organization’s carbon footprint is an important first action step. Our Green House Gas (GHG) verification services provide...

Download Free ESG White Paper

March 28, 2024
The Rise and Challenges of ESG – Your Journey to Enhanced Sustainability, Brand and Investor Potential

Work Safety Tips: 5 Tactics to Build Employee Engagement for Workplace Safety

March 13, 2024
Employee safety engagement strategies have become increasingly key to fostering a safer workplace environment. But, how exactly do you encourage employee buy-in when it comes ...

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of EHS Today, create an account today!