"Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?" ED physician Brian Goldman's TED talk

Dr. Goldman asks if you know your surgeon's "batting average" of operations with good outcomes. He mentions the three words you never want to hear: "Do you remember?" It's a good TED talk:



Every doctor makes mistakes (just like everyone does). But, says Dr. Goldman, medicine's culture of denial (and shame) keeps doctors from ever talking about those mistakes, or using them to learn and improve. Telling stories from his own long practice, he calls on doctors to start talking about being wrong.

Here are some simple steps to avoid medical errors from a patient's perspective (source: CNN):

1. Say: "My name is Mary Smith, my date of birth is October 21, 1965, and I'm here for an appendectomy."
2. Say: "Please check my ID bracelet."
3. Say: "Please look in my chart and tell me what procedure I'm having."
4. Say: "I want to mark up my surgical site with the surgeon present."
5. Be impolite (this particular piece of advice is obviously controversial).

References:

CNN video: Steps to avoid medical errors

1 comment:

  1. I have been pondering about the ramifications of this talk and specifically the culture of denial that exists about making errors and I think a lot of it stems from the fact that the medical profession today is a consumer-provider equation where any chink in provision of services may lead to litigation... and who would want that? But it would be good to see the system of persecuting the error-makers change for a more moderatist one. However, with more mechanization coming in, I do not believe it is going to get any better. If anything, it will get worse!

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