This post is a day late in coming, but it’s still a relevant concern of mine.
Yesterday was the first day of our patient safety camp/conference, and we spent a lot of time talking about communication and speaking up if you see something going wrong, especially if you’re lower down the hospital hierarchy. As a medical student, I imagine this scenario as a med student or a resident doing rotations in the hospital. Being the med student who doesn’t know anything or the new resident who’s green, I can easily imagine situations where I might think something’s off with our diagnosis or treatment plan for a patient, and my concerns are brushed aside as the concerns of an inexperienced learner. At some point, hopefully, I’ll be lucky enough to work with an attending who does listen to me when I raise a concern, but the tricky thing… Continue reading
Before coming to this camp, I was trying to explain the purpose of this camp to some of my family and friends, and I struggled to find ways to explain why we shouldn’t just blame health care workers when medical errors occur. Placing blame is such a pervasive method in our society for “solving” problems that I struggled to find ways to frame the issue of medical errors in a new way to help them understand. Over the past two days, we’ve said over and over again that medical errors are not caused by mean people, and I think that is one of the key phrases I will use in the future in trying to explain this experience. Medical errors are not caused by mean people. In fact, the vast majority of the time, the people involved in medical errors were actively trying to avoid… Continue reading