Since last week junior doctors around the world have been tweeting photos of themselves asleep at work. 


It started when a patient in Monterrey, Mexico posted a photo of a young resident asleep while on shift. The attached comment read ‘We are aware that this is a tiring job but doctors are obliged to do their work. There are dozens of patients in need of attention’. 

In response, doctors across the world tweeted #YoTambienMeDormi (I have also fallen asleep) around 18,000 times along with photos of themselves and colleagues asleep at work.

While in the UK a junior doctor’s working hours are limited to 48 a week (although they can choose to work more), in Latin America it seems residents can be expected to work shifts of up to 36 hours! And they’re not complaining about it – many believe this is how they will get the experience, skills and knowledge to become better doctors.

So why all the fuss?

For one thing, it highlights the “differences between the rights of doctors and the rights of patients”. In Mexico, the patient was able to photograph the sleeping resident without breaking any laws, but it is (of course) illegal to take pictures of patients without their prior consent.

But in the main, the responses make it clear that these doctors don’t appreciate being thought of as either super-human or sub-human; they are, in fact, as human as the rest of us.

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