The surgery training program at Massachusetts General Hospital has been put on probation by a national accrediting organization.
The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education warned the hospital in April that a significant number of junior surgeons were working too many hours and were on the job seven days straight, in violation of patient safety rules. The organization believes heavy workloads contribute to fatigue-related mistakes, and had given the hospital until Aug. 15 to fix the problem.
Even though the hospital made "enormous changes" and is now in "100 percent compliance" with the rules, said Dr. Andrew Warshaw, chief of surgery, the accrediting group told Mass. General last month that it had put the program on probation. ...
According to a 2007 survey of Mass. General surgery residents, nearly 20 percent said they weren't always getting a 10-hour break, while another 20 percent reported working more than the 88 hours per week allowed on certain especially difficult rotations.
--Liz Kowalczyk, Boston Globe, on discovering common knowledge