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Study Sleep-Deprived Doctors Dangerous Behind the Wheel screams the headline on The Hometown Channel a internet new service Study 2005 According to this articleresearchers at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Womens Hospital in Boston have revisited the topic of intern schedules and found that working very long hospital shifts make young doctors as dangerous behind the wheel as drunks Study 2005 Reading this article leaves one with the conclusion that not only do overworked doctors pose a risk to patients but are also dangerous on the road Meanwhile in the New England Journal of Medicine is this headline Extended work shifts and the risk of motor vehicle crashes among interns Barger et al 2005 Sounds familiar but not quite the same impact as the first headline The researchers conclude that extended-duration work shifts which are currently sanctioned by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education pose safety hazards for interns Barger et al 2005 According to Nolen-Hoeksema this study meets the criteria as a continuous variable correlation study comparing the following variables interns working extended duration shifts crashes near-misses and incidents involving involuntary sleeping p 74 2001 It also a longitudinal study as the participants were assessed over a period of 13 months In reviewing reported methodology results and conclusions the researchers appear to have following accepted clinical protocol They noted the limitations inherent in using self-reporting surveys to asses the participants and took this into account when drawing their conclusions The reporting in the media summary is accurate in the details yet distorted in the overall impression it gives It exaggerates and draws conclusions such as these interns are just as dangerous as drunk drivers that the researchers refrain from stating The researchers are much more conservative in their conclusions and also refrain from stating any cause and effect relationship There appears to be a correlation between the variables but this does not prove causation as the researchers realize despite the
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