Lighting a Fire – Day #3

What I am going to write about this evening is essentially the comment I made last night after watching Bleed Out with Steve Burrows, but I wanted to put it in on the blog as well. First, that film was an exceptional production. It made me so angry – on behalf of Judie and her entire family – and I will remember that anger and frustration moving forward as I try to become a part of the revolution (John’s word) to prioritize patient safety. I plan on recommending the film to my co-workers, family, and friends, whether they practice medicine or not. Bleed Out, along with the other films and discussions from this past week, has lit a fire in me. I hope to use this newfound fire as a means to make change, starting with writing to my senator and representative in Congress about amending our laws to give a voice to our patients.

I was most outraged by the scenes of the physicians’ depositions before Judie’s trial. Their body language screamed guilt and yet they continued to deny any wrongdoing in their actions (or lack thereof). Did they care? Or were they only concerned about their own reputation in the eyes of the court? Almost all clinicians join the healthcare profession because they want to help heal. So when do they lost sight of that altruistic desire? When does winning a court case become more important than providing safe, quality care to their patients? And how can we as new healthcare professionals prevent ourselves from developing this self-interest that clouds our judgment?