Dr. Sanjay Gupta, a practicing neurosurgeon and regular CNN contributor, has written a new book entitled, Monday Mornings. It’s a novel about medical errors and how doctors and patients cope with the reality of such mistakes. Dr. Gupta was recently interviewed by CBS News about the book.
Gupta is willing to tackle the taboo subject of medical errors because he recognizes the severity and depth of the problem. The title of the book comes from a meeting that doctors often hold on Monday mornings to discuss medical errors and ways in which those errors can be avoided in the future. Here’s an excerpt from the interview:
“So there is a secretive and hallowed tradition in surgery: A weekly meeting at teaching hospitals across the country. It is a gathering where we openly discuss our errors.
I remember a doctor who presented a mistake so reckless and uncaring that I wanted to stand up and throttle him. I didn’t have to. One of my colleagues doled out a much more appropriate punishment: He pulled a newspaper out of his pocket, and began reading the obituary of the recently-deceased patient. She was somebody’s mother, she was somebody’s daughter.
That doctor lost his medical privileges.
For two decades, I have been keeping notes on these meetings because I’ve wanted to learn from the mistakes others made. About ten years ago, my notes became the basis for a novel that I’ve just finished called “Monday Mornings.” In the book, I put my characters where no doctor wants to be – confronting errors. For obvious reasons, it’s fiction. But the issues that I take on are very real.”
Kudos to Dr. Gupta for tackling an issue few in his profession want to discuss.
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