Thursday, December 04, 2008

From The L.A. Times

Usually we pick our post topics off the New York Times, but here's a couple stories from the LA Times that caught my eye today:

Report urges more sleep for medical residents

The National Institute of Medicine has officially encouraged medical training programs to place 16 hour limits on the length of shifts that doctors in training can work. The report produced by NIM also recommends that any resident required to work longer than a sixteen hour shift be required to take a five hour nap before continuing.

So now the biological functions of physicians are being regulated by accrediting bodies and other professional organizations. Imagine the stress: "Sleep, gosh darn it! Sleep or we'll lose our accreditation!"

I totally agree that doctors need a decent amount of sleep in order to be any good to their patients, themselves and their families. I just think it's weird that hospitals have to be forced to acknowledge the biological needs of their doctors.

Another interesting story in the LA Times is a three part series entitled Through Prison Glass. It's a story about a woman, who also happens to be an attorney, who met and married a prison inmate while he was incarcerated in Pelican Bay. Pelican Bay is California's control unit prison (also known as a SuperMax facility). The prisoner in this story is alleged to be a leader of the Aryan Brotherhood and is in SuperMax for a murder conspiracy and other crimes committed inside prison walls.

I think it's an interesting story because I'm always curious about the psychology of women who marry convicted criminals whom they've never even known outside prison. You can read the second part of the series here.