Reflection Day Three

Today was incredible. We started our morning with a daunting, challenging, and utterly gorgeous hike on Bear Creek Trail. After a wonderful lunch of grilled cheese and ice cream we gathered once more at the school. One of the most important points that I took away from today’s discussions is illustrated in this quote from Lucian Leape, “The single greatest impediment to error prevention in the medical industry is that we punish people for making mistakes.” When I heard it, this made perfect sense to me. Making a mistake on an exam is just about the most effective way of learning and retaining information that I have ever experienced. Nothing ingrains a fact in my mind more than if I have previously made a mistake regarding that fact. I learn from my mistakes because of a mix of frustration, embarrassment, and sometimes even shame for making them in the first place and I believe others feel the same way. In medicine, it makes no sense that we would punish those who have made human mistakes within the healthcare system because those people are now the most likely people to be able to avoid making the same mistake in the future. People who make mistakes, if they are encouraged to share them and not be ashamed, can make the most fantastic teachers, and I think it’s so important to realize this and take advantage of the opportunities we have to make a difference in the current healthcare system.

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