As a follow up to my post last year about how we need to “learn to tolerate failure… even in the medical profession” I wanted to share this TEDx presentation (Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?) from Dr. Brian Goldman (@NightShiftMD). In it Dr. Goldman captures perfectly the flawed logic of how we all try to portray perfection in our work, especially those god like creates called doctors. In business our failures can cost money or even jobs but in medicine our failures can cost lives. And not just the life of patient who suffered from the original error but the lives of other patients based on the repetition of that same error because it is never shared and thus never learned from.
In an NY Times Op-Ed article yesterday, neurosurgeon and journalist Sanjay Gupta (@sanjayguptaCNN) cited a recent anonymous survey where orthopedic surgeons said “24 percent of the tests they ordered were medically unnecessary.” The suggestion was that the surgeons were performing the unnecessary tests as a form of “defensive medicine” that is meant less to help the patient than to protect the doctor and hospital from lawsuits. Why has it come to this? How has society come to expect “zero defects” from the medical industry?
Receive periodic email updates from Matt Hunt including his published pieces, updates on his progress, and more!