Resident physicians call for duty hours reform at national conference

OTTAWA, March 14, 2013 /CNW/ - As a member of the National Steering Committee on Resident Duty Hours, the Canadian Association of Internes and Residents (CAIR) welcomes the opportunity to participate in the Canadian Consensus Conference on Resident Duty Hours.

"CAIR strongly believes that a national dialogue that looks at best practices for better management of resident physician duty hours, is of critical importance", said CAIR President Dr. Simon Moore.  "Fatigue management is important for all physicians and we must work on a coordinated national approach that enhances residents' ability to provide safe, high quality patient care, and protects their own personal health and safety."

More than 3 in 4 Canadian resident physicians said they had made errors at work due to the consecutive number of hours they are required to work, according to a 2012 CAIR survey conducted by Nanos Research. As well, more than half said they had been in potentially hazardous driving situations due in part to work-related fatigue.

In the prologue of the arbitration ruling to Maritime resident physicians this month, the arbitration board found that resident hours of work "…constitute a systemic challenge, demand systemic attention and require systemic remedy."  CAIR agrees whole-heartedly, and is pleased that stakeholders will gather for an open and transparent dialogue.

In addressing the issue of resident work hours CAIR previously released a position paper that made six key recommendations and urged all provinces and regions in Canada to better manage resident duty hours in a manner that ensures patient and resident safety, and the best learning experience for residents.

CAIR understands the regional complexities and the difficulties of a "one size fits all" solution but there is more and more evidence that excessive work hours can endanger public and physician safety.

CAIR also recommends that the resident duty hours model must not impair residents' ability to learn and teach others. The ability to appropriately transfer care when going off duty is also critical to patient safety.

The recent developments in the Maritimes highlights the need for an open, transparent dialogue on physician fatigue, and how various models of duty hours can work to protect the personal health and safety of all physicians and provide safe, high quality patient care.

About CAIR:
The Canadian Association of Internes and Residents (CAIR) is the national representative body of over 8,000 Resident Physicians in Canada. CAIR is a resident-driven organization that works collaboratively with other national health organizations to continuously improve patient care and explore new approaches to the delivery of health care. CAIR works to achieve consensus on policy and advocacy issues of a national interest. It delivers improvement to the lives of Resident Physicians in such areas as personal well-being, the quality of medical education, and professionalism.

SOURCE: The Canadian Association of Internes and Residents

For further information:

Rita Mezzanotte

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The Canadian Association of Internes and Residents

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