According to Yahoo! Health, a new study determines that sleep-deprived physicians perform just as well as well rested doctors.

The research, published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, involved nearly 40,000 patients and 1,500 doctors in Ontario, Canada. Using an administrative database, researchers identified situations where a doctor worked between midnight and 7 a.m., then performed scheduled procedures that very day.

The study compared outcomes for the same doctor performing the same procedure with and without sleep deprivation. Patient outcomes, such as complications or readmission, were similar whether or not the doctor had worked the previous night.

“Sleep deprivation affects us all — the laboratory data is clear on that — so it did surprise me that when we looked at a broad range of physicians and evaluated the outcome of a large variety of procedures, we found no difference in the outcomes for patients whether their doctor performed overnight work the night before or did not,” says senior study author Nancy Baxter, MD, PhD, Professor of Surgery at the University of Toronto and Chief of General Surgery at St Michael’s Hospital.

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