The introduction of an 80-hr work week mandates frequent sign-out or transfer of patient information sessions among training physicians. At the same time, patients are increasingly more complex and cared for by teams employing technologically driven interventions. In order for team care to work, residents and medical students must master the elements of professionalism, upon which solid leadership and clear communication rests. Early instruction should include topics, such as clarity of language, cultural sensitivity, a subordination of self-interest to the needs of the patient, and a dedication to lifelong learning of cognitive and motor skills. This exposure to professionalism may begin in the dissection room and continue seamlessly through residency and into practice.
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