Attending, Resident, House Staff, Physician...

  1. What does each mean?

    How they are different from one another and what role do they play?





    House Staff.

    Are they all doctors?
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    About punkstar

    Joined: Nov '06; Posts: 82; Likes: 1
    Emergency / CVICU RN; from UZ
    Specialty: Emergency Nursing / CV/STICU


  3. by   loricatus
    Quote from punkstar
    what does each mean?

    how they are different from one another and what role do they play?


    physician. md or do

    resident. md or do that is in training for specialty practice

    attending. usually the md or do that the is responsible for the residents-the head doctor(s) for the shift

    house staff. md or do that is a paid employee of the hospital

    are they all doctors?

    tried to answer this simply. i can go into it in more detail if you want me to.
  4. by   caroladybelle
    Physician is anyone that has gone through medical school and passed their Boards. This follows them getting a Bachelor's degree and then attending a medical school and then passing Boards.

    Medical students are still attending medical school and technically not a "doctor" yet - they may write "orders" in places but they cannot be initiated until signed off by a doctor.

    A SubI (sub intern) is a MD that has not started official internship - usually seen in the late spring and summer between graduating med school and starting internship.

    An intern is someone that has completed med school, passed boards - but is only in their first year of being an MD. Virtually all MDs must do some kind of internship, and residency before being allowed to practice independantly...something that should be required for nurses, in my opinion, at least for a year or two post graduation. They can write and initiate orders, other than those barred by facility protocol (such as chemo or research meds)

    A resident is an intern past the one year mark....most are required at minimum for at least 3-4 years, I believe, and more for many specialties.

    A "fellow" has finished residency and is specializing in more advanced aspects of practice. In BMT patients, my speciality, they and the attendings write all chemo orders or sign off on them, for safety issues.

    And attending is the MD that oversees them.

    House staff/officers generally refers to the MD/DOss in attendance (generally interns/residents/fellows at any given time ) sometimes refers attending but not always. The term comes from earlier eras, where residents and interns actually "lived" at the hospital...either because they were on duty >80 hours a week, or lived in adjoining housing. After the 80 hour rule (interns/residents cannot do over 80 hours officially per week - though they often do more work "unofficially"), they no longer spend all that time there.

    All that are interns or higher are doctors, as are DOs.
    Last edit by caroladybelle on Oct 6, '07
  5. by   cmo421
    Just let me add one thing. House Officers/house staff, are usually found in non teaching hospitals. They cover the "house" when the attending can not and for emergencies. Usually work in 12 hr shifts and sleep when not needed.(start IV's,go to codes,assess a change in a pt,,,,) Some hospitals employ full time house officers who do M-F .Often u find third or forth yr residents picking up extra money doing this too!
  6. by   Katnip
    At the teaching hospital I worked in the Attending was the patient's personal physician. The doctors who oversaw the residents were a hospital based teaching doctor who may or may not have had his own practice, and the chief resident.
  7. by   Tweety
    Some of the definitions vary from place to place.

    Where I work the "Attending" is the admitting doctor, the one managing the patient, which may or may not be the patient's primary md on the outside.

    There are consulting physicians that the attending consults to help with more complex issues.

    We have "house officiers" which is the intern on all at that moment in time. They take care of only patients they admit onto their service, not the whole hospital. The intern has a "senior resident" working beside them, who is a 2nd year resident. Patients they admit have an attending, which is basically their instructor and is the admitting md on record, though the residents round and make orders on them.
    Last edit by Tweety on Oct 6, '07
  8. by   RNperdiem
    In a group of doctors on rounds, the attending is the one in the longest white coat who is the one the other docs are reporting to. The attending oversees the interns and residents. Some hospitals don't use the term "intern", they are first year residents. Most problems are reported to and handled by the residents.
  9. by   ZippyGBR
    Quote from punkstar
    What does each mean?

    How they are different from one another and what role do they play?


    a registered medical practitioner who doesn't provide a surgical service

    a registered medical practitioner in a specialist training appointment ( i.e. FY2s and registrars in Uk speak)

    a fully trained and specialist certified Registered Medical Practitioner
    ( Consultant, Staff Specialist/ associate specialist in UK speak)

    House Staff.


    Doctors working for and based in that particular facility?