Am I good enough? Will I ever make a difference? Can anyone here me? Does my voice even matter? If so, who is listening?

As my first year of Residency comes to a close and I look back in reflection, I wonder what has been accomplished. Hearing the Lewis Blackman story for the first time yesterday stirred something in me that I am not fully sure I know how to process at this time. Communication, time, hierarchical chain amongst other factors all played a hand in how the story unfolded.

One of my least favorite games growing up was “Telephone”. The original message NEVER made to the last person. It was beyond frustrating. Instead of passing along the entire message, people relayed what they thought was important. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes it was funny to hear how far the various messages deviated from the original. However, in talking about the well being of others, it is beyond disheartening that this is the way we communicate in medicine.

I keep thinking that if I placed myself in the story, would I have made the same errors. As the intern, would I have been too overwhelmed to notice something is wrong? Would I have been ignored if I recognized a huge oversight? Would I have had the courage to not be intimidated to speak directly with the Senior Attending? Would I have the courage to put my patient first at the risk of falling out of line and risking a punitive response?

I shutter in embarrassment/ fear to my responses to all of those questions. I need to be better…we all need to be better…