The paper, which is a 39-page summary of a conference held in June of 2010, appears in the June 2011 issue of the journal Nature and Science of Sleep. The conference was held at
Let’s look at some facts.
1. The Reuters article states, “The group cited U.S. government statistics that show as many as 180,000 patients each year die due to harm resulting from their medical care.” However, the article does not cite any proof that sleep-deprived residents are causing any of these errors. There is a growing body of research [here's some] that actually shows that resident work hour reform has not had any effect on the rate of medical errors.
2. According to the European Sleep Research Society, the journal Nature and Science of Sleep has an impact factor of 0.0. That means it has no influence and is not widely read.
3. Nature and Science of Sleep is an “open-access” journal. Although its author instructions page says that it is peer-reviewed, authors must pay a fee to have their papers published. This is similar to vanity publishing.
4. Nature and Science of Sleep is not listed by any of the major medical search engines.
5. The authors of the paper estimate that curtailing resident work hours further and delegating some resident work to others would cost $1.7 billion. Who is going to pay for it?
6. Here is a little known fact that many people conveniently overlook when discussing resident working conditions. A resident who is on call for 28 consecutive hours may not necessarily be awake for all of that time. Some nights are not busy. There can be time for napping. This type of work is not analogous to long-distance bus driving or piloting an airliner both of which require long hours of uninterrupted, monotonous work.
7. I confess that I downloaded the 39-page article but couldn’t finish it due to its sleep-inducing properties. [And I wasn't even on call last night.] You are welcome to read it as I provided the link above.