Stories from patient advocates:
- “I took my son Lewis to a teaching hospital for an elective procedure shortly after he turned 15. Four days later he was dead, without ever having left his hospital bed. He died of what is called “failure to rescue” - that is, failure to recognize and act upon the signs of serious decline in a patient. It was the weekend. His intern, less than a week into her pediatric rotation, was the only representative of the pediatric surgery department present in the hospital. By the time Lewis died, the intern had been on duty for over 30 hours.”
- Helen Haskell, Founder and President of Mothers Against Medical Error
Resident & Medical Student Stories
- “Resident fatigue, depression, and injury are not the worst effects of unsafe work hours; in our twisted way, doctors-in-training expect to pay the price for learning and to take a chance on the drive home. The most heinous fall-out of long work hours and sleep deprivation is hidden and corrosive, when exhaustion and sleep destroy caring and concern for patients, when sleep trumps life.”
- Family Physician, Los Angeles, California
- “I also never expected the physical toll that residency would take on me: the middle of the night nausea and chills, the post-call headaches. I don’t understand why doctors are expected to risk their health and the health of their patients in order to learn medicine.”
- Obstetrics & Gynecology Resident, New York, NY
- “On surgery call, I was retracting on an exploratory surgery at 4 in the morning. I almost put my face in the patient’s open wound when I nodded off.”
- Third-year medical student, New England
- When Doctors Are On Call: In an excellently written piece originally appearing in the Hartford Courant, Jenny Blair, MD illustrates what young doctors face when on-call.
- We want to hear from you. Are you an overworked, overtired resident doctor? Are you a patient who wants to share their experience about being treated by a sleep-deprived resident? Share your story with us.