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Flying and medicine: mutual lessons

Balakrishnan R Nair
Med J Aust 2008; 189 (11): 676.

It is said the medical profession should learn from the aviation industry, which has a much better safety record. This is possibly because pilots get a mandatory 8 hours’ sleep. They also have to rest between shifts, for longer than the hours worked. Pilots do everything in duplicate to ensure accuracy. Most importantly, the pilots know that if their passengers are going to die, they are going to die too.

Balakrishnan R Nair, FRACP, FRCP, GradDipClinEpi, Conjoint Professor of Medicine and Director, Centre for Medical Professional Development
John Hunter Hospital, Newcastle, NSW.

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