Commentary| Volume 38, ISSUE 12, P1124-1126, December 2016

Balancing the Needs of Patients and Learners in Surgery

Published:September 28, 2016DOI:


      In this commentary, we explore the need for academic physicians to balance the needs of their patients and of learners during surgery. We approach this discussion from the perspective of the duty of care to the patient and reflect on methods to respect this duty of care but still maximize the educational experience of the learner without jeopardizing the patient's health. We also identify pedagogical methods to facilitate this balance, both in routine situations and during unforeseen events.


      Dans ce commentaire, nous nous penchons sur la nécessité pour les médecins universitaires de concilier les besoins de leurs patients et ceux de leurs apprentis pendant une intervention chirurgicale. Nous abordons le sujet sous l'angle du devoir de diligence envers le patient et réfléchissons à des façons dont ces médecins pourraient s'acquitter de leur devoir tout en optimisant l'expérience d'apprentissage des étudiants, sans jamais mettre en jeu la santé du patient. Nous proposons également des approches pédagogiques favorisant cette conciliation, à la fois dans les situations courantes et en cas d'imprévu.

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      1. CMA Code of Ethics, 2004, updated 2014. Available at: Accessed on April 4, 2016.

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