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Information for people contemplating
a career in emergency medicine and
other medical specialties

By Kevin Pezzi, MD


What is the scope of an ER doctor's responsibility?

Female doctor

Q: Is the ER doctor responsible for a patient as long as they are in the hospital, or just for the ER doc's shift?

Answer by , MD: We are always responsible for our actions, and this responsibility does not end the minute the patient leaves the ER. We usually direct care only when the patient is in the emergency department. However, I once worked in a small hospital in which I would sometimes treat patients in the CCU/ICU, too.

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