A Paradigm Shift

In general, I consider myself to be a planner. In fact, I am an over-planner most of the time. When it comes to traveling I always manage to overpack and I’m ready for every contingency that never seems to occur. This is an interesting observation, because today in the conference I heard some very thought provoking conversations that have challenged me to think about the way I approach medicine. As a second-year medical student, I have very little clinical experience¬†to date, but that will come with time. Today’s conversations have challenged me to bring the planning aspect of my personality to my career as a physician.

Discussion today highlighted the importance of always planning for the worst case scenario. The catch phrase thrown around was the need for a “paradigm shift” in the way physicians approach patient care. It is easy to see a stable patient and revert to the mentally lazy position that everything is okay, treatment is working, and the current diagnosis must be correct. In reality, it would be very beneficial for patient safety if we as physicians used these moments to consider the polar opposite position – that the patient was in fact not okay and our diagnosis was wrong; that the stability of the patient at that moment was a fluke. This new approach to patient care would change the practice of medicine for the better by removing complacency and attempting to stamp out the medical errors that injure so many patients.

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