Medical resident Mikhail Varshavski, DO, better known as “Dr. Mike” by his 2.3 million Instagram followers, recently appeared on Good Morning America, where he discussed revised ACGME common program requirements.
The revision allows residents to work a maximum of 24 hours, plus up to four additional hours during transitional periods. The rule will go into effect July 1.
In the video above, Dr. Mike says the revision is more favorable for residents. He says after a 16-hour-plus shift, a resident is often expected to return back to the hospital the next day. The 24-hour shift gives residents the following day off to catch up on sleep.
Previously, first-year residents were allowed to work up to 16 hours at a time. The ACGME made the decision to reduce the 24-hour limit for first-years in 2011; other residents’ workdays are also capped at 24 hours. Evidence-based research showed that the 16-hour work day negatively affected patient care and residency education.
According to the ACGME, the 24-hour limit allows for more seamless continuity of care.
“When you have more hand-offs, you have more mistakes,” Dr. Mike says, in defense of the ACGME revision.
ACGME’s decision was influenced by the AOA’s current work hour policies for residents.