Cell phones are proving to be life lines in keeping health care providers accessible to patients and colleagues, but as the line between being reachable and being bothered gets thinner, many are having to give out their cell phone numbers sparingly. It's legally important be available, and federal fines can be imposed for not responding when on-call, but answering services and pagers still have a place for helping pick up non-emergency calls and those that come in when a cell phone's signal is out of reach.

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