Doctors in Residency Fail Tests of Common Courtesy
He adds, "when I'm the attending physician, I walk in on rounds with the whole team, introduce myself and put out my hand to shake the patient's hand, and then make the intern who is going to present the case sit down with the patient in a chair next to the bed. I'm showing them how I think it should be done. And they go, 'You know, that's how Dr. Feldman does it, so I should be doing it that way.'
"We teach this in medical school, but then we don't do a good job following up with that in residency education."
Feldman emphasizes that interns should introduce themselves and engage in all four other behaviors during every patient encounter, even if they have seen the patient before. That's because for any patient hospitalized, the experience "has got to be daunting. They've met several emergency room physicians, the intern that's going to take care of them, the whole Hopkins team that rounds the next morning, possibly a pharmacist, a case manager, social worker, a head floor nurse, senior residents, attendings, and maybe a specialty consultant or surgeon.
"So it shouldn't be a lot for us to take 10 seconds to say who we are. If I introduce myself again and the patient says, 'Of course I know who you are Dr. Feldman,' then I know I've done my job."
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