As our time comes to an end, I reflect on all that has happened in the past couple of days. Watching films such as The Lewis Blackman Story and Bleed Out and Dr. Goldman’s TED talk left me in a state of shock, disbelief, and fear. How can such an advanced nation accept a system that can have such devastating outcomes? We spend so much money on pharmaceutical research to develop new therapies, but somehow, we still lose so many patients to our healthcare system. If patients and families who can speak English fluently and have high levels of health literacy encounter so many devastating errors and have difficulty navigating our health care system, I can only imagine what patients and families with low health literacy are facing in our current system. I fear being a healthcare provider in a punitive system that seeks to put a band-aid on a… Continue reading
A powerful activity that we performed today was the Domino Game. During this game, one student played the role of the “physician,” where they described an arrangement of dominoes to the “nurse,” who was supposed to arrange the dominoes how the “physician” described them without looking at the image. An “administrator” oversaw the activity but couldn’t provide any input or guidance. To make the activity more complicated, the nurse couldn’t ask the doctor to clarify/repeat the instructions. Without feedback, communication quickly broke down and the nurse’s final arrangement did not match the physician’s image of the domino arrangement. However, when the nurse was able to ask questions and clarify instructions, the nurse’s arrangement perfectly matched the physician’s arrangement.
As I was performing this activity, I couldn’t help but draw a parallel with real-life situations where nurses and residents were afraid to speak up to an attending physician, and the communication… Continue reading
First of all, I would like to thank Helen for sharing her story on film with us. After watching the film, I couldn’t help but think of ways to prevent such errors from happening again. When can we begin to address this issue that has been plaguing our nation? It made me reflect on the vast variation in training among nursing and physician education programs. Certain medical schools focus on the didactics for the first two years, while other medical schools begin incorporating clinical experiences very early on. In my opinion, learning medicine is like learning a language. Learning a language from a book is a lot a less effective than immersing yourself in the language while living in the country that speaks the language. You can spend ten years learning a language from a book and not learn as much as you would if you lived in the country… Continue reading
I remember the week before I began my first year of medical school, when I was filled with a paralyzing fear of the unknown. I turned to my sister and asked her if it was all “worth it.” With “cold feet,” I was thinking about the inevitable long nights of studying and thought to myself, is it all worth it if I can make a mistake and harm my patients any second? Why should I lead a life with such a burden if I can choose a career that prevents me from ever being in such a situation in the first place? I held the incorrect belief that physicians are infallible humans that never make mistakes, and I truly doubted that I can live up to this impossible standard. Slowly, throughout my first year, I have begun to build my confidence, but I will continue to let my fear… Continue reading
“Why Every Medical Student Should Learn More about Patient Safety and The Telluride Experience”
Our healthcare system needs health care professionals who are well-versed in patient safety and communication issues, and most medical schools do not invest the time and money that is necessary to make this a reality.
Patient safety is integral to good patient care because if a patient is not safe, their health is at risk. Quality patient care ensures a patient’s wellbeing, and a lack of patient safety places this wellbeing at risk. Preventable medical errors can result in a prolonged hospital stay, permanent injury, or even death. The repercussions of these errors can cause billions of dollars of additional health care costs in our system. Furthermore, a prolonged hospital stay or death can result in a ripple effect which places immense stress on the patient and the patient’s family. Loss of independence and productivity can… Continue reading