Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
From a governance perspective, the professional processes that govern the safe performance of clinical procedures are covered under the umbrellas of medical registration, credentialing, audits, performance appraisal and supervised training with logbooks; however, if we analyse them carefully, it is soon clear that these structures leave a gap, as they do not adequately recognise the rare procedures that some clinicians will have to do only once in a blue moon or a career, whichever is longer.
What defines a routine clinical procedure, an occasional one and a rare one? What do these questions mean for major and minor procedures, for the practice of emergency medicine, for training programmes and for senior doctors learning a new skill?
The reason for asking these questions is because from time to time this journal is sent a case report that describes an author's need to perform a major but rare life/organ saving procedure. Authors will have several reasons for wanting to publish a report eg, for peer education, to solicit other people's experience of the problem (thus getting feedback in a rudimentary audit process) and perhaps, most importantly, as a catharsis and debrief for what may have been an extremely stressful experience, especially if there was a poor …
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; not externally peer reviewed.