Overcoming Defensive Medicine

  1. As a healthcare professional it is extremely important to always look towards improving the delivery of healthcare. As a senior resident there is often resistance when feedback is given to coresident. It is in human nature to become defensive when ones actions are being challenged. However, as healthcare professionals it is important to foster a culture of embracing feedback and change. At my training hospital residents are encouraged to join and become active team members of many hospital committees. This allows us to become active members to help bring about change in the entire hospital. As a member of the High Value Care committee I have been able to work closely with hospital administration to create quality improvement projects focusing on improving patient safety.

In the last few weeks, as a chief resident I have found it extremely hard to deliver feedback to some residents who become fixated on defending their actions. I have tried to give feedback by initially applauding the positive and then exploring how certain actions could have been taken in a different more effective way. There have been some residents that are open to hearing about other courses of action, but there are some that struggle to accept any feedback. If anyone has suggestions of providing feedback to a innately defensive resident would be appreciated.