Medical Education and Duty Hours: Do We Really Care?

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Peter Brindley



The Canadian Society of Internal Medicine has a noble mission statement that bears repeating. The goal is to “go beyond simple transmission of information, and to make a lasting impact on the knowledge, skills and attitudes of clinicians and future clinicians; to narrow the theory-to-practice gap; to improve the health of our patients and of all Canadians.” I agree wholeheartedly; in fact, I presume we all agree. How could you not? But the devil is always in the details. What does this really mean for how we prepare future doctors? More contentiously, what does this mean for duty hours? This (reactionary?) author believes it is worth routinely examining whether we live up to our lofty mission. If not, then we should accept a few inconvenient truths.
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