Author Affiliations: Department of Medicine, Division of Hospital Medicine, University of California, San Francisco (Dr Wachter); and Department of Medicine, Stanford University, Stanford, California (Dr Verghese).
Twenty-five years ago many ward attendings were senior specialists. It was considered both an honor and a duty to attend on the teaching service, which typically involved serving for a 4-week stretch at least once a year. Being a specialist with an arcane research interest was not a disqualification. Even though such attendings might have had relatively narrow comfort zones, residents often learned both about medicine and the nature of an academic and research career from them.
Wachter RM, Verghese A. The Attending Physician on the WardsFinding a New Homeostasis. JAMA. 2012;308(10):977-978. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10476