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Why Are Interns Blue Dr Robert Marion author of The Intern Blues 2001 delivered to his readers daunting accounts of the trials and tribulations that were faced by three of his first-year medical interns The book presented in the form of a four-person diary inevitably causes the reader to raise several questions about the current standards of medical education and evokes feelings of compassion and sympathy toward medical interns Marions book compelled me to look further into the harrowing conditions experienced by first-year interns and prompted me to seek out a more accommodating--yet equally effective--method of education According to the Associated Press httpwwwwtnhcomGlobalstoryaspS688918 approximately 75 of medical interns who participated in a study developed by the University of Washington reported suffering from a burnout and almost one-half of those admitted to giving less-than-ideal care as a result Interns and residents in the universitys internal medicine program most often identified sleep deprivation frequent shifts lasting longer than 24 hours and an overall lack of leisure time as their major stressors As is commonly known sleep deprivation impairs an individual on many levels For example a persons immune system can be weakened causing increased susceptibility to illness Therefore an intern would be at an even greater risk of acquiring an illness from other patients In addition to this physical health risk sleep deprivation may cause mental impairments as well The brains frontal cortex relies on sleep to function effectively Insufficient sleep patterns adversely affect the frontal cortexs ability to control speech access memory and solve problems and perform other fundamental tasks First-year medical interns often experience persistent feelings of helplessness and apprehension These feelings are likely induced by the harsh realization that although their patients view them as doctors there are many things that they have yet to learn The interns in Marions book describe feeling as though they were thrown in to the medical profession without proper preparation Feelings such as these are likely to play
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