What a privilege to hear the personal stories of those affected by medical errors today. The events surrounding the death of Lewis Blackman serve as the ultimate reminder to deliver patient-centered care and to be present with the whole person, not simply the condition. I can imagine that too many of the providers saw only the “15 y.o. with post-op constipation in room X,” and not Lewis, the bright young man who dreamed of travelling.
Helen Haskell specifically mentioned that no one sought to foster a relationship with her son. My first two years of medical school I planned to prioritize this. Developing partnerships with patients to restore their health was the motivation behind starting this career! But only three weeks into clerkship I am already collecting moments where I have failed at this goal. I will strive to do as Chris perfectly stated today and treat everyone like family. In honor of Lewis, in honor of Alyssa, in honor of the countless lives needlessly lost and/or damaged by this system I must work every day to improve myself and those around me.