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Invited Commentary
June 24, 2013

Attending Rounds: Where Do We Go From Here?Comment on “Attending Rounds in the Current Era”

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Section of Hospital Medicine, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans.

JAMA Intern Med. 2013;173(12):1089-1090. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2013.6063

In my own era of medical training some 20 years ago, most general medicine attending rounds were performed by subspecialists. These rounds were an extra burden for academic physicians 1 to 2 months a year when they were “on service” and attending ward service was squeezed into their normal academic life of subspecialty clinical work and research. Daily attending rounds were not mandatory, and it was common to have an attending physician with limited knowledge and confidence outside of his or her own specialty. The care of patients was resident driven. The “good” attendings made sure the big picture was being managed appropriately and used rounds to teach physical examination and patient management, usually in the comfort zone of their own subspecialty. With the details of patient care left to the residents, attendings found time to pontificate at the bedside and teach pathophysiology, physical examination skills, and other medical topics.