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Is Your Doctor Sleeping Enough?

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A recent Internet survey by the American College of Chest Physicians’ Sleep Institute (ACCP) found that most physicians are probably not getting enough sleep for top performance at work.

As a patient, anxiety may affect your ability to sleep the night before a medical procedure – we all get a little nervous, right? What if you knew your doctor didn’t get much sleep either? The average physician reported an average of 6.5 hours of sleep a night in a recent Internet-based survey by the American College of Chest Physicians’ Sleep Institute (ACCP); But 70 percent reported needing at least 7 hours of sleep a night for peak work performance.

Furthermore, of 581 responding doctors, more than 20 percent reported not feeling refreshed when they wake up at least a few days a week. Most of the physicians claimed the lack of adequate sleep does not hinder their performance on the job, but is that supposed to comfort us? Injury and death due to medical malpractice is on the rise and this may be one more reason why.

According to ACCP Sleep Institute Chair Dr. Barbara Phillips in a statement, “call hours during training and in the practice of medicine desensitize physicians to the importance of sleep. The pervasive message is that sleep is optional or dispensable,” Dr. Barbara Phillips, Chair of the ACCP Sleep Institute, said in a statement.

The fault isn’t entirely on the physicians, though, as 43 percent said that their work schedule does not permit adequate sleep.

If you believe you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, contact a medical malpractice attorney to discuss your legal rights and options.