You’re a doctor when you’re not giving anesthesia?

Nov 6, 2021

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Peering Over the Ether Screen | November 2021

ASA Monitor November 2021, Vol. 85, 19–20.

My patient and his wife didn't understand that an anesthesiologist is a physician, despite his having been cared for by anesthesiologists during past procedures. They thought only CRNAs give anesthesia. What are we doing so wrong with our messaging, and how can we fix it?

One recent afternoon in the GI endoscopy suite (not my favorite place to work, but that's a topic for another day), I walked up to the bedside of my next patient and introduced myself as I always do.

“Hi,” I said, holding up my name badge for the patient and his wife to see. “I'm Dr. Sibert. I'm with the anesthesiology department and I'll be looking after you today.”

The patient was an otherwise healthy man in his mid-30s, having his fifth endoscopy this year for a chronic though serious problem. My questions were...

© 2021 American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), All Rights Reserved.


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1 Comment

Great Article

October 22 2021

Arthur Boudreaux


Thank you, Dr. Sibert, for your clear articulation of our identity problem. Institutions should help by restricting the use of the term “doctor” to physicians when in the patient care setting. Some institutions place the terms “Doctor,” “Nurse,” “Resident Physician,” and “Advanced Practice Provider” clearly on name badges to help reduce confusion.

Submitted on 22/10/2021 12:02 PM GMT

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