Shortening trainee doctor hours hasn't harmed patients

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(AP) A new study finds shortening hours for doctors during residency training hasn't harmed patients.

Researchers wanted to know whether limiting trainee doctors to 80-hour weeks affected the quality of care.

The work hour reforms started in 2003.

The analysis found no difference in deaths, readmissions or costs, comparing internal medicine doctors who trained under the reforms to other doctors.

Researchers analyzed data from more than 400,000 hospital stays to make the comparison.

Lead author Dr. Anupam Jena of Harvard Medical School says hospital care relies on teamwork, which may explain why the training time for individual doctors doesn't seem to make a difference.

The study was published Thursday in the journal BMJ.