Day 2 Is the risk of failure worth it?

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 of failure drive my mindfulness during each task I perform with my patients. My takeaway from today was that even the best physicians can make mistakes. Mindfulness with action and engagement is a key component of preventing mistakes from occurring, and I’m hoping to incorporate this into my future practice. Together, as a health care team, we can employ the “swiss cheese model,” and catch each other’s inevitable mistakes. Another lesson I learned today highlighted that a collaborative work environment allows everyone to speak up, and that’s what I hope to see when I rotate and enter residency. Hopefully, together, we can work together to change the culture of medicine, so we can see a collaborative environment in every hospital.

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