9-1-1, help me, I’m in the hospital

“My only regret is that I should’ve called 9-1-1 from my mother’s hospital room.” Or, “We could’ve gotten the appropriate medical care anywhere but where we were, which was in the hospital.” These statements resonate; they cause a twinge of unease for people whose life work it is to tend to the ill, weak, and vunerable. But, these are real statements taken from a film about Lewis Blackman, a bright teenage boy who entered the hospital for an elective procedure and never left.

Lewis Blackman’s story illustrates the brokenness and unachievable nature of the Hippocratic Oath’s first, and most important line. However, it is only unachievable in our current healthcare system. As young professionals, we must disrupt the status quo – dismissing our perceived infallibility and, especially, that of our superiors. This step is the cornerstone to building a culture which truly values patient safety above all else.