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J Postgrad Med. 2004 Oct-Dec;50(4):274-7.

New legislative regulations, problems, and future perspectives, with a particular emphasis on surgical education.

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Department of Surgery, 251 Hellenic Air Force Hospital, Metropolitan Hospital, Athens, Greece.


Major changes in the residency-training systems are currently under way worldwide. New laws regulating the maximum number of work-hours per week are already enforced in the USA and are soon to be enforced in the European Union (EU); they apply to residents in training, as well as to practising specialists in the USA. These changes are expected to influence training imparted to resident doctors, quality of care given to hospitalised patients and functioning of hospitals, in general. The implications of the new regulations are likely to be magnified by the gradual decrease in the number of young people willing to take up Medicine as a career and even more so by the decrease in the number of medical graduates who choose to take up Surgery as their specialty. This communication describes the new situation that has developed (especially in general surgery) with the recent regulations and intends to suggest possible solution to the important problems that are likely to arise.

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