The second day of Telluride was possibly even more thoughtful and vulnerable than the first day. We started things off with a bang through the story of Bob Malizzo and the tragedy that faced his daughter Michelle. We had the unique and humbling experience of hearing from Dr. Tim McDonald who was directly involved in her care and in disclosing the events to her family.
The session then closed with a very challenging question posed to the group: What are you most afraid of after you leave here? My knee jerk reaction was probably one that most trainees would answer (beyond being worried broadly about patient harm which is, of course, also a major concern): I’m worried about the day when I kill someone’s child. Not if, but when… because inevitably a bad outcome will occur… because in medicine we are lifelong learners and therefore cannot know everything, cannot predict… Continue reading
The first full day at Telluride was full of complex and honest discussions, as well as personal stories to help provide context and reminders that patients with adverse outcomes aren’t merely a statistic. In particular, we were honored to have Helen share a tragedy involving her son Lewis, and she was able to provide her perspective as a mother, as a patient, and as a patient safety advocate. Something that really struck me was when Helen mentioned that if Lewis had been anywhere else but the hospital (such as at home) then he may have had a different outcome due to a new set of eyes and an open mind about his deteriorating clinical status and acute abdomen. While our culture is changing and hopefully becoming more multidisciplinary and team focused there are still so many more steps we need to take to get to a place where all members… Continue reading
As many of us have experienced we oftentimes serve as a translator for all things medical when it comes to our families, but sometimes decisions are made and adverse events happen but there is no clear way to explain why or how you got to where you are. I have seen a loved one undergo unnecessary and invasive medical procedures simply due to a language barrier, or prolonged hospitalization due to insurance issues and facility placement. I have also seen patient safety concerns from the perspective of a resident physician, when new autonomy in ordering medications, studies, and procedures could be potentially dangerous if a trainee isn’t aware of the boundary between what they know and what they don’t. In particular, as a pediatrician, the decisions we make when caring for children and the outcomes or adverse events that they face completely change the course of both their life… Continue reading