Mistakes and Malpractice Are Not the Same There Is Glory -Atrial Flutter __________________________________________ By Gharms -http://atrialflutter.org/ In a book of poems entitled, "Imperfection: Swear By the Night and Other Poems" (1936), the late Nathalia Crane wrote this: "Let go the lure, the striving to unmake; Behold the truth whenever heart may ache. There is a glory In a great mistake. Atul Gawande, a surgeon, is the author of "Complications: A Surgeon's Notes On An Imperfect Science." If I were a physician, I would be grateful to the good doctor for writing this book. I really would, despite the fact that Dr. Gawande's central message is don't trust doctors! Learn More About Atrial Flutter No, Dr. Gawande did not suggest doctors are medical Madoffs or otherwise a cabal of bad actors. What he did was show that doctors are like the rest of us - fallible. They make mistakes. Unlike a mistake a clerk at a dry cleaners might make in giving you the wrong shirts, or something like that, doctor and other medical errors could cost you an arm or a leg, or worse.
We have all been patients; most of us will be patients again. While we expect doctors and other care-givers to get it right, to offer the correct diagnosis and treatment, one or both are quite unlikely, at least the first time out. Perfection is theoretically possible; doctors do get most of it right, for the most part, quite often, but that leaves lots of occasions when errors are made. You are very foolish if you assume a doctor's work is spot on, especially if your case is somewhat complicated (e.g., heart problems). That is one reason you may have heard the term second opinion. Or
the word malpractice. Other terms prompted by the fallibility of doctors, like all humans, include iatrogenic medicine, complications and death. You get the idea, I'm sure. Gawande explains why it is that no matter how caring doctors try to be, how efficient the institutions in which they work are, and how effective a few protocols for treating varied illness have been in other cases, you must not be complacent or assume the best. Be an active patient. Pay attention and become well informed. Be vigilant and know the options, including this one - do nothing. Not every problem has a cure, and not all illness causes are discoverable nor are all symptoms treatable.
Gawande makes clear that medical customers have unreasonably high expectations, whether the doctor advice is for obesity pills, vitamins, tests or dramatic procedures - like surgery. Surgery? Such is mysterious, uncertain and fraught with the likelihood that errors, mistakes and screw-ups will occur. One reason doctors do not fully explain things (e.g., you're dying, ruining your health with lamebrain habit patterns and so on) is because they are overly polite. Or, they don't want to upset you. Or, they don't really understand the situation and don't realize it. This is a short list of possibilities - there are many more reasons why you might not
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