Medical Education

It is estimated that as our population ages over the next 20 years, the number of Americans suffering from sleep disorders will double. However, the physicians that treat them receive minimal training in sleep disorders medicine. In fact, they themselves are forced to endure excessive work schedules during their internship and residency training, which desensitizes them to sleep as a fundamental biological necessity, degrades their ability to provide quality patient care and to benefit fully from their training experience, and places them at increased risk for sleep-related motor vehicle accidents during their training.

The most recent survey of the four-year medical school curriculum reveals an average of less than two hours of formal education directed at sleep, even at Harvard Medical School. The average medical student graduates with little information on either the identification or the treatment of sleep disorders.

As the intellectual and scientific resources across Harvard Medical School are focused on the common goal of relieving human suffering, the Division of Sleep Medicine is committed to ensuring the proper education of our future and currently practicing doctors, and setting the standards for excellent treatment in the field of sleep medicine, as well as providing information to the public necessary for informed decisions about individual lifestyle and health.

The Division of Sleep Medicine also is committed to improving medical education nationally. To that end, it has developed an educational teaching module on Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Daytime Sleepiness (only functional with Explorer 11 and Firefox in Windows 7 environment and Firefox in Macintosh El Capitan).

The Division of Sleep Medicine is committed to working within Harvard Medical School to integrate sleep into the medical curriculum in a way that may serve as a model for medical schools throughout this country.


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