Should Surgeons Care for Their Family Members? (E)

This session has been identified and designated as Credit to Address Regulatory Mandate for Ethics. Learn more about state regulatory mandates.

Session Description

Physicians have been discouraged from providing medical care to their family members. Yet, physicians may feel obliged to become involved in their care. Family members may feel more comfortable asking a physician family member for care. Can the emotional attachment lead to inadequate objectivity assessing conditions? Can altered objectivity compromise treatment? What are the consequences to patient autonomy, privacy, and the ability to give informed consent? What is the emotional toll when adverse events occur? Most agree that in the case of a life-threatening emergency and the absence of an appropriately trained surgeon, a physician should not hesitate to provide care, yet how do we ensure exceptions are not abused? How should surgeons act when family members are cared for by surgeons of the same specialty?

Moderator: Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS, New York, NY

Co-Moderator: Matthew B. Rossi, MD, FACS, Hopedale, IL

Does Severity of Illness Influence Whether to Operate on a Relative?
Peter Angelos, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL

Does Convenience of Routine Care Delivery Influence Whether to Operate on a Relative?
Sharmila Dissanaike, MD, FACS, FCCM, Lubbock, TX

Does Geographic Distance for Care Delivery Influence Whether to Operate on a Relative?
Scott B. Grant, MD, MBE, Somers, NY

Does Exceptional Competence Influence Whether to Operate on a Relative?
Mark C. Weissler, MD, FACS, Chapel Hill, NC

Sponsored by the Committee on Ethics and the Advisory Council for General Surgery

Target Audience

  • Practicing surgeons
  • Residents

Learning Objectives

  • Apply new knowledge and ideas to improve their surgical practice
  • Adapt concepts and quality measures in support of research advancements
  • Enhance the quality of patient care


For questions about the course, please contact

Course summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.50 Self Assessment Credit
Course opens: 
Course expires: 

Disclosure Information

In accordance with the ACCME Accreditation Criteria, the American College of Surgeons must ensure that anyone in a position to control the content of the educational activity (planners and speakers/authors/discussants/moderators) has disclosed all relevant financial relationships with any commercial interest. For additional information, please visit the ACCME website.

The ACCME also requires that ACS manage any reported conflict and eliminate the potential for bias during the educational activity. Any conflicts noted below have been managed to our satisfaction. The disclosure information is intended to identify any commercial relationships and allow learners to form their own judgments. However, if you perceive a bias during a activity, please report it on the evaluation.

(Download the full list of disclosures).

Faculty and Disclosures

Fabrizio Michelassi, MD, FACS - Tsumura Inc: Member of the Advisory Board
Mark C. Weissler MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Matthew B. Rossi MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Peter Angelos MD, FACS - Nothing to Disclose
Scott B. Grant MD, MBE - Nothing to Disclose
Sharmila Dissanaike MD, FACS, FCCM - Nothing to Disclose

Program Committee and Disclosures

CHAIR: Henri R. Ford, MD, MHA, FACS, FAAP, FRCSEng(Hon), Miami, FL - Nothing to Disclosure
VICE-CHAIR: David T. Cooke, MD, FACS, Sacramento, CA - Nothing to Disclosure


David C. Borgstrom, MD, FACS, Morgantown, WV - Nothing to Disclosure
Daniel L. Dent, MD, FACS, San Antonio, TX - Nothing to Disclosure
Roger R. Dmochowski, MD, FACS, Nashville, TN - Allergen: Honoraria: Consultant
Cynthia D. Downard, MD, FACS, Louisville, KY - Nothing to Disclosure
Audra A. Duncan, MD, FACS, London, ON - Nothing to Disclosure
Mariam F. Eskander, MD, Boston, MA - Nothing to Disclosure
Paula Ferrada, MD, FACS, Richmond, VA - Nothing to Disclosure
Neil H. Hyman, MD, FACS, Chicago, IL - Nothing to Disclosure
Martin S. Karpeh, Jr., MD, FACS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Dennis H. Kraus, MD, FACS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Kenneth W. Sharp, MD, FACS, Nashville, TN - Nothing to Disclosure


Daniel M. Herron, MD, FACS, FASBMS, New York, NY - Nothing to Disclosure
Edith Tzeng, MD, FACS, Pittsburgh, PA - Nothing to Disclosure


Barbara Lee Bass, MD, FACS, FRCSEng(Hon), FRCSI(Hon), FCOSECSA(Hon), Houston, TX - Nothing to Disclosure
Quan-Yang Duh, MD, FACS, San Francisco, CA - Nothing to Disclosure
B. J. Hancock, MD, FACS, FRCSC, Winnipeg, MB - Nothing to Disclosure
Ronald V. Maier, MD, FACS, FRCSEd(Hon), Seattle, WA - Nothing to Disclosure

Continuing Medical Education Credit Information


The American College of Surgeons is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™

The American College of Surgeons designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

Of the AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™ listed above, a maximum of 1.5 credits meets the requirements for Self-Assessment.

American College of Surgeons and ACGME Logos

Note: Residents will receive a Certificate of Completion.

Available Credit

  • 1.50 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit™
  • 1.50 Certificate of Completion
  • 1.50 Self Assessment Credit
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This course is available as part of the Clinical Congress 2019 Webcast Packages