Case 1: A patient who is rehospitalized for complications
after shoulder arthroscopy discovers that his surgeon’s partner
performed the operation. The orthopaedists contend that they practice as
a "team," deciding who does the specific case
just prior to the operation1.
Case 2: Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy is performed by a resident.
The attending orthopaedist scrubs briefly and then leaves to perform
a simultaneous procedure in another room. The patient has a postoperative
Case 3: Carpal tunnel release is performed by a resident, under
the supervision of an attending orthopaedist who has been present
for the entire case and who has introduced the resident as his assistant
in the informed-consent process. The median nerve is injured by