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      Training doctors to save lives

      Munson Healthcareâ??s Family Practice Residency Program is training young doctors to learn how to save lives.

      As you can imagine, the program is not easy.

      â??Youâ??re responsible for your own decisions. Youâ??re planning orders for patients. You're working long hours and making some tough decisions that are based on life or death situations,â?? said third year resident, Abbigale Wilson, MD.

      Working long hours became a hot-topic in 2012, when the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education published changes in work hour regulations.

      The 2012 guidelines state:

      -First year residents can work a maximum of 16 hours in one shift

      -That must be followed by a 10 hour break

      -Second and third year residents can work shifts of 24 hours

      -That must be followed by a 14 hour break

      â??Our supervisors are very good at managing levels of fatigue and saying, ok, I think you've worked long enough, I think you need a small break,â?? said Wilson.

      While patient safety is a top priority at Munson Medical Center, there is some question about how realistic the new guidelines are.

      Are they really preparing doctors for real world care?

      As Munson Residency Director J. William Rawlin points out, there's not a 16 hour shift limit for practicing doctors.

      â??Clearly, there is the recognition that at some point you will finish training, you will be out in practice and you no longer are restrictedâ?|so it's a fine balance between training physicians in a safe manner and also training them to practice medicine in the real world,â?? Rawlin said.

      Munsonâ??s program integrates osteopathic and allopathic medicine together, with the resources of Munson Medical Center. The dually accredited 6/6/6 program accepts both DO and MD trainees.

      This program is affiliated with the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine (MSUCOM) and with the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine (MSUCHM). It is a rural-based program and is structured to train physicians for rural and small town practice. Ambulatory, hospital, and community based training are utilized throughout the residency.