The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) offers an extensively updated and revised version of S.A.F.E.R. (Sleep, Alertness and Fatigues Education in Residency), a tool for educating residents about the effects of sleep deprivation on performance.
The new version includes an expanded PowerPoint presentation with core sections on recognizing sleepiness, the effects of fatigue on medical education and strategies for managing drowsiness.
The updated program came about after researchers at Brown University determined that drowsy residents performed as poorly or worse as someone who had consumed three to four alcoholic beverages. The study is published in a September 2007 issue of JAMA.
“We have to continue to educate doctors-in-training,” said Judith Owens, director of the Pediatric Sleep Disorders Clinic at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, associate professor of pediatrics at Brown Medical School, and co-author of the study. “ This is particularly important since our study shows that many sleep-starved residents don’t recognize that they’re impaired.”
Owens helped create the S.A.F.E.R. Program after she was involved in a serious car accident as a resident. The program is now used in residency programs across the nation.
She added that the results applied not only to med school residents but anyone employed in a field requiring long stretches of work without rest including nurses, truck drivers, and police officers.
To read the full news release, click here.

To order the SAFER Program kit, click here.

To view the abstract in JAMA, click here.