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Trials to extend working hours under fire as unethical

Many Pittsburgh residents know the amount of work that medical students and residents put in each week. They have been notoriously overworked with limited amount of time off. The combination of inexperience and extended hours that are worked by medical residents can put patients at harm of medical malpractice.

Medical residents are notoriously overworked. But two trials which were set up to study medical residents who worked up to 28 hour shifts instead of the usual 16 are under fire for being unethical. The American Medical Student Association and the watchdog group Public Citizen say the trials have put patients in harm and did not receive informed consent from them. The studies were conducted at over 190 teaching hospitals across the United States by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. Medical residents are currently limited to 80 hour work weeks.

When a patient is injured because of a negligent doctor it can be frightening and unexpected. Patients and their families often wonder what happened to cause the injury. A legal professional skilled in medical malpractice can help a family get the answers they deserve. They can review medical records and consult with medical experts. They can hold the negligent medical professional accountable for their mistake and the patient's worsened medical condition. Compensation may be available for medical expenses, pain and suffering and other damages.

Medical residents are known for working long hours with little rest. It is important that these residents learn as much as they can without compromising patient safety.

Source: Medscape.com, "Two trials extending resident hours called 'unethical'", Robert Lowes, Nov. 23, 2015

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