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September 6, 2006

Medical Education 2006: Beyond Mental Mediocrity

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: Dr Golub is Senior Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(9):1139-1140. doi:10.1001/jama.296.9.1139

Why should I care about posterity? What's posterity ever done for me?—Groucho Marx

Physicians demonstrate their concern for the future of the medical profession in their commitment to the education of medical students, residents, fellows, peers, and themselves. The 2006 Medical Education theme issue of JAMA continues our recurrent focus on teaching and learning at all of these levels.

Three articles in this issue focus on risks to residents related to their training environment. Ayas et al1 present evidence of risk of percutaneous injuries associated with working extended duration work shifts, and Zheng et al2 describe signs of vascular inflammation and changes in endothelial function associated with extended work shifts and sleep deprivation. West et al3 found an association between self-perceived medical errors and measures of subsequent distress, including assessments for quality of life, burnout, loss of empathy, and symptoms of depression. In addition, Landrigan et al4 suggest that compliance with duty hour restrictions in the first year after implementation of mandated standards may not have been as high as previously reported.