First Day of Telluride

What a great but emotionally challenging day!  Despite having a strong interest in QI and patient safety, it’s never easy to be reminded of the incredible damage we can cause with medical errors (in terms of the patients, their families, and the caregivers themselves).    I have to admit I cried several times today during the morning’s presentations.  On the bright side, I am surrounded by incredible faculty and young medical professionals who are so inspiring.  I left today truly believing I can be an active part of making the ideals of Telluride a reality through cultural change, leading by example, and constant efforts to improve quality and patient safety.  What an honor to sit in a room with a new generation of doctors and nurses determined to make the system better and eliminate the astronomical (and frankly inexcusable) number of deaths and injuries from preventable medical errors in this country every year.

I want to personally thank both mothers from this morning’s session.  I cannot imagine reliving their tragedies, even if it were for the betterment of others and for fixing the very system that devastated their families.  The were so selfless and I know their efforts have already been instrumental in saving countless lives.  Both Josie’s story and the story of Lewis Blackman have enraged me and also made me more determined to take on the responsibility of constantly bettering myself and those around me.  As we were told today, I will hold the anger these stories have made me feel in my heart, and will use it as motivation for change.   I know we can all individually use reminders of why we got into this profession in the first place.

In this regard, I have already begun to think of aspects of this conference I can bring with me back to UMMC for the betterment of my peers.  In particular, I continue to be impressed by the proper utilization of CRM, and the belief that all voices should be encouraged and valued as members of a cohesive team.  As a new 2nd year resident, and new team leader, I will strive to encourage this philosophy in all of my clinical experiences.  I was also very intrigued by the idea of the Hero Award/Good Catch Word and encouraging people to shine a light on any potential downfall they see in our system.  I have come to believe this type of mentality is the only reasonable means of keeping the holes of the swiss cheese from lining up on a regular basis.  I look forward to another great day tomorrow and cannot wait to share my knowledge with my co-residents in the years to come.