The Telluride Conference has been emotionally and cognitively exhausting. However, it has also been rejuvenating and utmost inspiring. The practice of medicine is so much harder than you anticipate. There are so many battles each day working in a broken system.
Your first error that you make in patient care breaks you. I will never forget a patient who left against medical advice with severe HTN in pregnancy. In discussion with the obstetricians, we all agreed to give her hydralazine prior to leaving the Emergency Department. She agreed to return after running her necessary errands. She did not make it to those errands and she returned in less than 10 minutes with dysarthria. I harmed this patient. Thankfully, with her blood pressure returning closer to her baseline, she had no lasting effects. The thought that I had the ability to harm a patient was crippling. As an intern, I swore… Continue reading
We all cite the Hippocratic Oath when we enter medical school. I remember like it was yesterday, standing together, holding up our hands in our short white coats, and swearing to follow its covenants throughout our careers.
To my surprise as I referenced the oath today, the phrase I remember most, “First do no harm,” is actually not a part of the oath. Yet somehow, this is what I remember holding my hand up and promising to uphold.
This is the culture of medicine that is ingrained in me, changing my memory and perception of what I swore to on that day. The culture that is accepted in society, amongst doctors, nurses and you and I: doctors are infallible. It is not fathomable at times and certainly not understandable or acceptable for physicians to make mistakes. But physicians are humans and humans make errors. There are unreasonable expectations that… Continue reading