The Other Side of Medical Errors

In most blog posts, we concentrate on those who’ve been injured by medical negligence. However, the Huffington Post is running a series of very interesting blog posts on the medical profession and the emotional toll medical mistakes take on physicians. In this post, the blogger examines the book “What Doctors Feel” and poignantly demonstrates that medicine is more than a science (but an art as well) and doctors are more than robotic machines who spit out formulaic answers to health problems. Dr. Danielle Ofri agreed to be interviewed by the Huffington Post and spoke candidly about how medicine is practiced. Here’s an excerpt from the interview: “As physicians we see medicine as a science. We think of ourselves, and present ourselves to the public, as rational, evidence-based practitioners. But in truth, most of what we do is based on experience, what we’ve learned from mentors, what we’ve seen, what we feel in our gut, what seems to work. I think we are far less rational than we tell our patients and ourselves that we are. My experience, and others I’ve witnessed, has taught me that emotions play a large role in how we practice medicine and work with our patients.” The underlying thesis of the post is that until the health industry comes to grips with the human element in the practice of medicine, medical errors will continue unabated. It is her opinion that a doctor’s emotions play an essential role in the treatment of patients as well as how medical errors are handled. Such an insight may help the industry deal with and prevent future medical errors.