New reports show that medical residents not only run the risk of fatigue on the job and potential medical malpractice, but they are causing or almost causing car accidents. In North Carolina, especially the Triangle area, many of the area hospitals like WakeMed, Duke and the Family Health Center at UNC are just a few of the places where medical residents are working exhausting hours every day.
From high-stress decision making when treating emergency room patients, to clinic care, residents are often working 12-16 hour days with little time to rest and re-charge. Over a four-year study conducted by the Mayo Clinic, medical residents were surveyed on their feelings of fatigue, depression, burnout, and quality of life. 8% of the residents admitted to accidentally exposing themselves to a patient’s bodily fluid because of fatigue-related stress.
When it came to operating motor vehicles, almost half of the surveyed medical residents had come very close to getting into a car crash. 11% of the residents were directly involved with car crashes.