Cell phone use is ubiquitous. The Inquiry Committee recently considered the case of a surgeon who participated in a teleconference call via his Bluetooth device, while assisting a surgical colleague. The College determined this represented an unacceptable distraction and that the patient deserved (and would no doubt expect) the physician’s full attention to his task. Everyone wants to imagine that they can safely multi-task, but safety-sensitive tasks demand undivided attention.
Registrants are reminded that all attempts should be made to avoid cell phone disruptions in clinical practice. The Inquiry Committee concluded its review by seeking a formal undertaking from the surgeon to refrain from the use of cell phones in his future surgical practice.