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Student Forum Student Forum essays were published until August 2009. They gave a medical student perspective on any topic related to medicine, health, or medical education. Student contributions are now hosted on Speaking of Medicine, the PLOS Medicine community blog.

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Excessive Work Hours of Physicians in Training in El Salvador: Putting Patients at Risk

  • Kenneth R Fern├índez Taylor
  • Published: July 17, 2007
  • DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.0040205

Reader Comments (13)

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Biosafety accident

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:12 GMT

Author: Karla Navarrete
Position: Md
Institution: El Carmelo
E-mail: navarrete02@gmail.com
Submitted Date: August 06, 2007
Published Date: August 7, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

I´m an eighth-year medical student from El Salvador, currently I´m working on investigating the present Patient Safety Culture in one of the country's second-level hospitals. My interest in the topic was born during last year when, as the author of the article, I too was submitted to the obligatory internship.

Last year, because of the excessive work hours and the hostile working environment, I was diagnosed with depression, so I started taking medication, which made me drowsy and a little bit clumsy, my doctor suggested to take a few days off, but I didn´t. I didn´t think it was fair for the other interns, because my workload would just be redistributed and added to theirs. And so in that clumsy state, along with the fact that we lacked basic protection such as gloves, I had a biosafety accident with an HIV+ baby. Luckily nothing happened, because I started antiretroviral therapy the same day. I really felt horrible, I felt nauseated, and sometimes one of my supervisors mocked me for it. This is something I don´t wish for anyone!

That is why I know how important it is to regulate working hours, we must protect our patients and ourselves from harm.

No competing interests declared.