July 2012

Patient Consent for Resident Involvement in Surgical Care

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Department of Ophthalmology, University of California, San Francisco.

Arch Ophthalmol. 2012;130(7):917-918. doi:10.1001/archophthalmol.2012.98

Society must confront 2 realities of surgical graduate medical education: first, that the next generation of surgeons must be trained, and, second, that there is an unavoidable surgical learning curve. Substantial time, effort, and resources are appropriately expended to facilitate the transition from novice surgeon to expert, but those actively engaged in the education of surgical residents might describe the absolute elimination of the learning curve as unrealistic. So long as there is a surgical learning curve, there is likely to be some increased risk to the patients cared for by inexperienced residents compared with those exclusively cared for by experts.

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