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April 2005

Professionalism and the Medical Student

One morning on your medicine clerkship, you are rounding with your attending and resident on Mr. Jones, a 65 year-old man with a recent massive upper GI bleed. Having checked his labs this morning, you know that his hemoglobin and hematocrit dropped significantly overnight, but your resident was unable to check the labs. When asked by the attending about these values, the resident replies that they were unavailable. What do you do? On the one hand, you possess important information that directly impacts on the care of your patient, but you do not want to risk "showing up" your resident on rounds-a situation which may lead to negative feedback on your evaluation.

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