I enjoyed your November 2005 editorial on teaching hospitals. Thanks for taking the time to look at these issues. I think all of us involved in surgical practice and resident education need to remember that each patient must remain the core focus of our efforts and that educating/teaching patients about their disease is as important as educating residents, our colleagues, and ourselves.
George B. Friend, MD
It is with great interest that I read your "Teaching hospitals" editorial. Of special interest was your quote, "I can't tell you how many times I've been asked if I am personally going to perform the surgical procedure."
There is an independent surgical corporation that allows university residents to perform entire surgeries on their own without university faculty being present. The private, contracted surgeon who has interviewed the patient does not inform the patient that a resident will be present, does not tell the patient that the resident will be performing the entire surgery, nor does the firm publicly associate itself in any way with the university residents. They simply allow university residents to perform the surgery while the private surgeon observes. I have seen complications occur during such sur?geries and the patients are not informed of this.
Consent forms do not state that university residents are present or that they will be performing the entire surgery, nor is the patient verbally told that the private, contracted surgeon will not be performing the surgery. What is your opinion?
Thank you very much for your valuable time and thoughtful consideration.
Susanna L. Price
?Surgeons are responsible for the patients even though residents are involved. Attendings need to scrub and direct the care. Nothing else is acceptable at least for private patients and generally for all patients.
Dr. Jaffe responds
LETTERS: We invite you to write to the authors about the articles in this month's issue of . Submission of a letter to the editor confers permission to publish, unless otherwise indicated. Letters and authors' responses, when obtained, will be published at the discretion of the editors as space permits and are subject to editing.
Address correspondence to:
Bernard M. Jaffe, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Surgical Rounds
241 Forsgate Drive , Jamesburg , NJ 08831