Communication is something that sounds so simple, yet can be so complicated. When we tell someone to do something or express how we feel, it seems so clear in our heads, but when the words leave our mouths there are a million different ways it can be interpreted. And sometimes, the words never even register in the minds of the people we speak to.
Today, we took a little field trip to Washington DC to pay a visit to the Arlington National Cemetery, which serves as the final resting place for around 400,000 soldiers that bravely defended our country over the course of history. Coincidentally, this year it was reported that 400,000 people died as a result of a medical error. The reality of this statistic suddenly became so real as I looked about at the hills of endless white tombstones so carefully placed. Us medical professionals are responsible for… Continue reading
I had no idea what to expect for our first day, but it was nothing short of eye opening. I got to meet other students who have a passion for improving patient safety, coming from places ranging from Ireland to Ohio. Different minds with diverse backgrounds came together to discuss ideas and pose questions to tackle the monster of medical error prevention, and I have been lucky enough to be part of this conversation!
The problem is serious. Hundreds of thousands of people in America die every year because of medical errors. The stories shared with us painted a picture of a devastating unnecessary loss that we all have a part in. How can we stop this? The first step, transparency. We need to be open and honest with patients and colleagues instead of avoiding to admit faults. As future physicians, we chose this path because we see the fragility… Continue reading