A while back, I was rounding on the ICU service with a new attending who had just come on service. On her first day, she said to us, "If you ever have a question on one of your patients...."
She paused. I waited for her to complete the sentence, assuming she was going to tell us something like, Feel free to bring it up on rounds so we can all learn from it.
"Don't ask me the question," she finished. "Look up the answer yourself."
The mantra of "look it up yourself" is pretty prevalent in medicine. I remember on another rotation, I had a question about the dosing of steroid in oral vs. IV form, and I did look it up, and still couldn't come up with the answer. I asked the attending on rounds, and he said, "This is why you need to look things up." I tried to explain that I still couldn't find the answer, but he didn't want to hear it.
Why is there this culture in medicine of refusing to answer questions that trainees have? I can't imagine saying something like that to a med student or resident. Isn't part of being in a teaching program to actually, you know, teach?