The legal responsibility for the house staff is divided between the house officer personally, the institution sponsoring the training program, the hospital where the house officer practices, and the attending staff members whose patients are treated by the house staff. The hospital, the training program, and the attending physician each have a duty to monitor the actions of the house officer. However, only the training program has direct legal liability for the actions of the house staff. The hospital and the attending physicians have secondary liability that flows from their duty to monitor the actions of the house staff. This secondary liability arises from any failure to detect negligent actions and thus save the patient from injury. The less the actions of the house staff are limited by hospital rules and bylaws, the less responsibility the hospital and attending staff have to monitor the actions of the house staff. In a facility that grants house staff members full active staff status, the duty to monitor would be no different from the duty to monitor any other medical staff member. There is no special duty to monitor a physician who participates in a training program, but neither is there any shifting of the duty to the institution that sponsors the training program.
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