Real Words

“I look at you and you give me trust again because you have chosen to be here. My loss is your gift.”

Words can be powerful when the meaning behind them is so strong. The words spoken today by David Skolnik will be with me always now. Seeing the powerful story of their child Michael illustrated and hearing he and his wife Patti speak with us today was a stark reminder of the humanity behind medical errors. The courage it must take to relive and retell that story so many times is amazing, but what we were able to learn was also an amazing gift. The fact that David puts his trust back in us – members of the profession that caused his son’s death – was an awe inspiring moment that I will not soon forget. I think his words will live on as a challenge to me to live up to his and other’s trust and to do better than those that came before.

Humans will make mistakes – it is a part of our nature – but we must learn ways and design new ideas around making the systems we function in better able to catch those errors and prevent the harm we all have made an oath not to commit.

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