A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association underscores the danger of overworking medical students. The study found that first year residents routinely work more than the maximum duty-hours recommended by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME). The council requires that physicians-in-training work no more than 80 hours a week averaged over the course of four weeks, have one day off a week and not work more than 24 hours straight. Of the 4,000 residents surveyed, 62 percent reported violating those standards. The ACGME challenged the findings, saying that the study sampled only a small percentage of the nation's 100,000 residents. Its own national study found that only three percent of residents violated the standard. A separate study in the Journal found that interns who worked longer than the recommended hours were more prone to commit medical errors.
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