Think about your typical workday. You get up, drink a cup of coffee and feel pretty alert by the time you actually get to your desk. Throughout the morning, you're mentally sharp and dialed in. Lunch gives you a little break and helps you pick it up for the afternoon.
By 4:00 p.m., though, you're starting to wear out. You're looking at the clock. You're making more mistakes. It's been a long day, and you did the best you could, but you're tired. No matter what profession you're in, you just feel a bit exhausted by the time you're ready to head home for the evening.
This is no different for doctors. In fact, some have suggested never scheduling an appointment with a medical professional in the afternoon. If that's the only time they have to give you, should you look for a different day?
Doctors are human, just like the rest of us. They make mistakes. They get tired. They overlook things when they feel worn out that they would have easily spotted if they were feeling a bit more mentally sharp.
We expect the same level of care at 4:00 p.m. that we would get at 9:30 a.m., but that's not always what we receive. A doctor who means well can still make a regrettable error just because the day full of appointments, meetings and procedures has worn them down.
When this happens, though, it can have some serious health ramifications. Those who suffer significant harm because a tired doctor made a mistake need to know all of the legal options they have.