How You Look at Things (Residents and Patient Deaths)

Am I going crazy? I saw this article “shortening trainee doctor hours hasn’t harmed patients” and was confused. I am seeing a young lady and they are seeing the old lady.

The brilliant “educators” are saying this:

“Some still long for the old days of 100-hour work weeks, but most of the world has moved on and realized there are better ways to train residents,” said Dr. Karl Bilimoria of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, who was not involved in the research published Thursday in the journal BMJ.

Eliminating extra paperwork and some academic conferences for residents, while adding nurse practitioners to the workforce help make training more efficient, Bilimoria said.

I am so biased against these pontificators that I immediately smelled a rat. The world has moved on? What a pompous thing to say. Adding NPs makes the training more efficient? What a ridiculous thing to say. Something must up.

So let’s look at the study. The crux of the conclusion is:

For the study, researchers analyzed data from more than 400,000 hospitalizations of Medicare patients. Using billing codes, they assigned each case to a key doctor who dealt most with each patient.

Then researchers compared cases from two six-year time periods: before and after 2006, when the first new doctors who were fully affected by the reforms had finished their residencies.

This was an era of improvements in patient safety. So researchers compared the new doctors — some affected by reforms and some not — to trends among veteran doctors with 10 years’ experience and all trained under the old rules.

They found no difference in patient deaths, readmissions or costs.

So, this proves that shortening their hours hasn’t harmed patients? Great, but does it prove that they are appropriately trained? NO!!! In fact, you can make the case that having residents working longer hours didn’t increase patient deaths! This supports them having longer hours of training.

Okay, if you read it differently then me will you please tell me what I missed?

Get our awesome newsletter by signing up here. We don’t give your email out and we don’t spam you.

145640cookie-checkHow You Look at Things (Residents and Patient Deaths)