Dr. Robert Klitzman Weighs in on Medical Intern Study

In an article for Modern Healthcare, Dr. Robert Klitzman, the director of the M.S. in Bioethics program, weighs in on the ethics of the medical student work-hour study.

Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine and the University of Pennsylvania are conducting studies to “evaluate the impact of resident work hours on patient safety,” said the author of the article, Sabriya Rice.

According to Klitzman, their research-gathering methods are not entirely ethical.

“Because you're looking at deaths of patients as the major outcome, that makes it much more difficult ethically to support because patients may be harmed,” said Klitzman.

“If you find that twice as many patients died under anything but the current system, you could say they died unnecessarily.”

Klitzman suggests that researchers look to the past to draw conclusions about the safest number of hours for medical interns to work. “There are other sources of data they could have used to answer the question,” he said.

Read the original article published by Modern Healthcare, and learn more about the graduate program in Bioethics.