Thursday, January 26, 2012

Doctors Make Mistakes

Here's an amazing speech made by Brian Goldman, a doctor, on the fact that doctors make mistakes and how it should not be a shameful thing to admit.

We're all human. We're not robots, we'll all make mistakes at some point. Heck, even technology itself can make errors.

Doctors are always placed on this high pedestal, being regarded as the ones who know all there is to know about healing people. They don't. They'll never know all there is to know because there's just. too. much. There's a reason why there are specialties and subspecialties in medicine. No single person could know everything. Yet society throws expectations at doctors: you've gotta be perfect at what you do.

Knowing it all still won't make an imperfect being, perfect. Why toss out an unmeetable expectation towards people? By doing so, these individuals are then unable to deal with their mistakes in a healthy manner, accept them and move forward. It becomes near impossible to admit mistakes.

Unfortunately, the world has become such that a doctor's mistake, be it large or small, is rewarded with a lawsuit. Oh boy.

I understand the considerable value of human life. Doctors do all they can to help. They do what they can with the power they have. But doctors are not gods. Or demi-gods. 

Doctors are humans. Just like you, and your brother/sister, and your best friend, and the waitress at your favourite food place, and the homeless man in the city. Doctors are imperfect beings striving for perfection. In the same way you work your hardest to do what you do as perfectly as possible, doctors are no different. So then, why treat them as if they're something they're not?

If I could just wiggle my nose and heal someone, I would. Alas! I am but a mere human working with just my hands, my mind and man-made inventions.
Forgive me if I am unable to be the perfect being you expect.

No comments: