A patient was admitted to a medicine service for treatment of newly diagnosed cancer. The team caring for the patient comprised a medical student, intern, senior resident, and attending physician.
During bedside teaching rounds, the student reviewed the treatment plan. The patient thanked her for the update and complimented her appearance. Sensing boundary violations, the attending physician requested the patient keep the conversation professional and restated the role of the medical student. The encounter continued and the patient referred to all team members professionally thereafter.