Telluride Day 1 Reflection

When I first applied for the Telluride Experience, I knew it would be an experience that would enhance they way I approach my future clinical years as a rising M2. However, after Day 1, the Telluride Experience has already truly transformed even my most basic assumptions regarding medicine.

I felt that the Lewis Blackman film was a true wakeup call for young students and residents. As a medical student, it often feels like the most important task as a future physician is to learn all the clinical manifestations of disease, their diagnostic criteria, and their treatments. However, the film evidenced that systems error may lead to a negative outcome regardless of all the knowledge accrued by health professionals. At first, this was disappointing to me–after so many years of education, the last thing you’d expect to cause the unnecessary death of a patient is a systems error. I realized that this was a [much needed] call to action for health professionals of all ages. As I continue into my second year, I will definitely approach the administration at my medical school to see how this could be incorporated into our case-based pre-clinical curriculum. Today’s discussion was one I will never forget, and I hope that encouraging my peers to have similar conversations will save the lives of many patients in the future.

As such, going into lunch I felt relatively despondent. How could all our training be ruined by systems errors that we trust will never happen? That being said, the transparency discussion (as well as the domino game and the later discussions) transformed that sadness into hope. The faculty broke down the systems errors in a very granular fashion, which gave me hope as I thought of ways to combat this issue in the future. We learned that simply taking the time to validate concerns or address people by first name could ultimately result in saving a life. This is a lesson I will be sure to take into my clinical years, as well as to take a note of as I shadow other physicians.

Overall, this first day was more inspiring than I ever could have hoped–I look forward to learning more about how to be a part of this revolution in the coming days.