Healthcare Triage: Residency Training, Long Hours, and the Effects on Patient Outcomes

When one of my best friends in medical school returned from an interview for a surgical residency program, he told me how some of the surgeons there bragged that they were worked so hard that the divorce rate among their trainees was greater than 100 percent — some of them burned through two marriages.

They were proud of this. I was horrified.

I doubt this statistic was true, even 20 years ago, and I’m even surer it’s not true now. But it points to an important truth: Some physicians equate “suffering” with “commitment” and believe that a residency should be grueling and difficult.

The limits on how we train residents, and what new studies say about it is the topic of this week’s Healthcare Triage:

This episode was adapted from a column I wrote for The Upshot. Links to further reading and sources can be found there.


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