Day 1 Reflection

First day at Telluride- Discussing Uncertainty  
One topic that stood out to me during discussion on day 1 was the topic of uncertainty.  I’m currently in my last year of residency and as I reflect on my years of medical school and early years of residency, I can say that I did NOT do well with uncertainty back then.   It was seen (by others, and pressure on myself) as a weakness if I was uncertain of a correct answer to a question, or diagnosis, plan etc.  And honestly, uncertainty gave me personal anxiety.  Now, as a senior resident, I was recently told by a few faculty that it’s one of my strengths when I openly and honestly admit to my uncertainty of a diagnosis or plan. It’s OK to know when to ask for help or additional guidance as a trainee. Or when you need time to discuss with other colleagues or specialty services when uncertainty is present.   I’ve become more comfortable with uncertainty and being able to admit (to myself, to my patients, to my teammates) when I’m uncertain of a diagnosis or plan for my patient.  But I feel that one of the main take-away points regarding uncertainty is that it’s OK to be uncertain & admit uncertainty as long as this is communicated well with others. This is better than anchoring on a diagnosis that may not be accurate, which could be detrimental to a patient’s case, outcome and most importantly their safety.  The quote from the  film “confidence is valued over uncertainty” really did hit home & was something I was reflecting on.
There are many  more topics from day 1 that left me with new thoughts & reflections: mindfulness, transparency, premature closure, situational awareness, the value of a thank you.   But I feel that I could type lengthy paragraphs about each topic 🙂
Briefly , I also just want to mention that this experience has already left me feeling recharged and energized. With so many great ideas to bring back to my program.  I am enjoying all the great conversations in the group sessions and one-on-one during break & happy hour.
Addendum/addition:  after morning session of day 2 I decided I wanted to add some more thoughts to the above reflection specifically regarding uncertainty and being OK with asking for help. That needs to be a characteristic of a good team leader.  To be able to step back from a situation, reassess what is going on, and asking the team for input.  Sadly in the case on the film (routine surgery) there was not a specific leader in this case. There were specialists of their field, trying to address this patient’s airway, but no specific leader.  No one took a step back to look at the situation/big picture and decide on next best steps or get input from other team members (including RNs).

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