In the US, limits on surgical trainee (residents) working hours were reduced from a maximum of 30 consecutive hours to a maximum of 16 hours in 2011. The reduction followed a report by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education.

Writing in The BMJ, Jeanne Lenzer notes a recent study which waived that restriction, giving rise to some controversy including complaints by the American Medical Student Association.

The FIRST study is due to present its results on more ‘flexible’ hours in February 2016, considering the impacts on patient care and resident training.

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