This revelation comes quickly. The young physician moving from observer status to the assumption of direct responsibility soon realizes that sound clinical judgment is not enough to ensure complete and appropriate patient care. Many individuals contribute to the delivery of that care, and the job will not get done unless clear communication flows between the responsible physician and other members of the team.

The house officer with any savvy quickly learns, for instance, that a good relationship with the nursing staff is critical. Nurses, it turns out, are the ones who translate all of the physician's excellent clinical judgment into actual care.

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