My name is Samuel Moffet and I am a first-year medical student at Georgetown University School of Medicine. I am excited about meeting everyone and getting to learn more about the field of patient safety in medicine.
Patient safety is an integral part of exemplary patient care because patient safety is the inial step to ensuring the patient’s trust in their physicians. If patients knew of unsafe practices or a sense of hostility, this adds to an already stressful experience of visiting the physician’s office. Without an established trust between the patient and physician, the patient may not disclose information about them entirely and feel guarded during the interaction. This cascade of events can ultimately lead to a vicious cycle of mistrust in the healthcare system, lack of diagnostic information due to the mistrust, and eventually an increase in physical and mental patient safety due to clinical mistakes.
I believe most of these mistrusts between a patient and physician stem from the physician not performing good, routine clinical practice (which falls under the realm of poor patient safety). For example, not taking the time to properly go through a thorough history, not listening to colleagues/medical team on issues, or the gross neglect of duties. Because of a systemic issue in many medical institutions, these notions of physicians not practicing patient-oriented medicine have led to a gross mistrust in the medical field. To combat these issues, I believe the change needs to begin at an institutional level with co-workers holding each other accountable and a management team focused on patient-centered care. Only through longitudinal change can patients begin to see improvement in patient safety on a macroscopic scale.
I am looking forward to learning more about the practices and innovation in the field of patient safety and how I as a medical student can contribute to the growing change!