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April 9, 1982

Role of the Anesthesiologist-Reply

Author Affiliations

Anesthesiology/Critical Care Medicine, Inc St Louis

JAMA. 1982;247(14):1938. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320390022024

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In Reply.—  After particularly discouraging days, I, too, have wondered why I bothered trying to practice good anesthesiology when those attempts have been denigrated by misguided physicians in other specialties. The answer is, I think, "Do it for the patient." As a physician, the anesthesiologist has a distinct ethical, moral, and legal responsibility to his patients. He has no obligation to be a "handmaiden" to any other physician. To allow oneself to be placed in such a position is to admit defeat and to agree that some other physician should make the decisions that a good anesthesiologist should make.The purpose of my article was to bring to the general medical literature a discussion of problems long known to anesthesiologists, hoping that better cooperation might result. At my own hospital, several internists have begun to list the patient's problems and have stopped using the statement, "history and physical examination dictated,