A simple question – what is the chief function of the consultant?
The answer is probably the same, regardless of what you mean by ‘consultant’. In the anglo-antipodean world ‘consultant’ typically means a doctor who has completed their specialty exams and has a more senior supervisory role, like an ‘attending’ in the States. Alternatively, ‘consultant’ may refer to a doctor from another service that you have asked to review a patient under your care.
Regardless, the primary role of the consultant has changed little over the last 100 years:
The chief function of a consultant is to make a rectal examination that you have omitted.William Osler
The major difference is that, these days, most will put on gloves, rather than rely on the old soap-under-the-fingernails trick…
And as for those inane discussions about the order in which the various body cavities should be examined, I side with Hamilton Bailey:
“Actually it is immaterial which of the examinations is done first; the important point is to change the glove.Hamilton Bailey