Today was an exciting first day of discussion and reflection with peers and faculty. The most memorable and summative quote from today was from Helen Haskell, the mother of Lewis Blackman who lost his life due to medical error. When speaking of his death, she said that Lewis would have been safer anywhere other than the hospital in which he died. That statement really shook me. As a rising second year medical student, I have not yet personally experienced some of the harsh realities regarding mistakes that are made in medicine.
After watching the film about Lewis Blackman, it has been even more apparent to me that patient centered medicine and clear open communication are key strategies to preventing medical systemic errors such as Lewis’s death. However, these concepts cannot just be used as “buzzwords” or a bandaid to cover up issues; it requires a fundamental change in the culture of healthcare. This film was a clear reminder that successful healthcare relies on a team that mutually respects one another and shares the common goal of doing what is best for the patient. This paves the road for clear communication needed to prevent medical errors. I am therefore so grateful to be a part of this movement of patient safety so early in my career, and believe I have been given invaluable tools to make a difference in patients’ lives.