AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. June 2013, Volume 15, Number 6.

Ethics Poll

Team-Based Medical Care

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

In hospital settings, physicians, medical students, nurses, radiology and lab techs, patient transport staff, and others wear uniforms of different colors and styles (e.g., scrubs, long or short lab coats) that differentiate among their professions and caregiving responsibilities. Last time you stayed in or visited a hospital, did you:
Figure out the significance of the differences in dress?
Enjoy the fact that everyone was not dressed the same, but didn't much know why?
Notice that there was significance to the different colors and modes of dress?
Ask about the significance of the difference in dress?
Not notice or pay attention to the differences in dress?

A meta-analysis of 45 studies of leadership styles found that women were more likely than men to employ mentoring styles that empowered followers to reach their full potential. Do you think it follows from this that women would make better leaders of medical care teams than men?
Yes.
Maybe.
No.
Don't know.

In medicine's new emphasis on team-based care, teams of primary care and specialty physicians, nurses, social workers, physical therapists, and others assume accountability for a given patient's continuous health status. Do you think this system will improve patient care? Select one answer.
Has to be better than the current system, in which I see a different person for each service and no one knows what the other is doing.
It has worked for community health centers since the 1960s. No reason it should not work in other settings.
Physicians will not relinquish their hierarchical leadership of patient care.
The attempt will fail for all the authority, scope-of-practice, and gender-related reasons that have kept interprofessional cooperation at a minimum.
It won't help patients. Team dynamics becomes the focus of attention and patients' interest takes second place.

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Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of our readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.