I was listening to TED Talks Toronto, Dr. Brian Goldman. He makes a very interesting analogy to baseball. In baseball, your batting average measures how good you are. A batting average of 300 means you successfully hit the ball 3/10 times. In baseball that is amazing! If your batting average is 400, that’s 4/10 and in baseball, that makes you legendary.
Patient’s would not tolerate anything less than a batting average of 1000 from their caregivers. We make mistakes, though we would like to live up to those standards. We are legendary! Not because we are perfect, but rather we are tasked with very complex problems that challenge us from every angle. Our patients are legendary! They, by default put all of their trust in our hands when they are the most naked and vulnerable.
With every patient interaction, we have the opportunity to hit home-runs, even when mistakes are made. We can embrace our mistakes, learn from them, help others from making the same mistakes, and above all, engage our patient’s misfortune with the dignity and honesty they deserve.