[Skip to Navigation]
September 12, 2012

The Attending Physician on the Wards: Finding a New Homeostasis

Author Affiliations

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).

JAMA. 2012;308(10):977-978. doi:10.1001/2012.jama.10476

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.