Residents as Good as Fully Trained Docs if Properly Supervised: Study

FRIDAY June 29, 2012 -- Although they are still in training, medical residents who are well supervised provide care that's as good as care provided by fully trained doctors, according to a new study.

Researchers from the University of Amsterdam and University of California, Los Angeles, reviewed nearly 100 articles on residency training and patient treatment published over the course of seven years. Residents are typically graduates of medical school who are receiving an additional three or more years of training in a specialty.

The review of the research found the majority of studies indicated that patient care provided by medical residents is safe and equal in quality to the care provided by fully trained doctors. They noted the teachings of their supervisors balanced the residents' lack of experience.

"A minority of results found some negative patient outcomes and several studies found that patient outcomes improved throughout the residency period," study author Renee van der Leeuw said in a journal news release. "We would recommend that for all residents, adequate supervision and evaluation, plus extra time to perform operations, is essential to maintain patient care."

The review was published in BMC Medicine.

More information

The American Medical Association provides more information on the role of residents in patient care.

Posted: June 2012


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