The Dark Side: Malpractice and Burnout

Today, links to some great medical blog posts. A common theme ties them together: the darker side of medicine. I think it’s important for pre med students to try and understand the whole picture of practicing medicine.

The first post comes from Kim at Emergiblog. Burnout occurs across all careers but I think it is especially important to be wary of in health care. Kim says,

I had stopped looking patients in the eye. I was spitting out standard responses instead of listening to what my patients were saying. I was expending the bare minimum of energy required to complete tasks.

I was doing; I wasn’t caring.

And I was burnt.

Check out the rest of the post here.

Next, I want to highlight a series of posts by Whitecoat at Whitecoat’s Call Room. Starting a couple weeks back, Whitecoat started outlining the story of his own medical malpractice trial. What he delivers is a surprisingly gripping account of a crazy process. Read the disclaimer here, then check out the first four posts in the yet to be finished series.

Post 1. Post 2. Post 3. Post 4.

Here’s a quote from the first post,

After reading through the chart, I remembered the patient. Nice older fellow who was laughing and joking with the staff when he first came in. I also remembered the patient’s daughter. As soon as she arrived, she began questioning everything we did and everything I ordered. I remember asking her if she had any suggestions for her father’s care. She wanted him transferred to his regular doctor at a hospital across town. By the time she made that request, he was already in shock and we couldn’t transfer him. That made her even more upset. Fortunately, because of the daughter’s animosity, I documented that chart very well.

I’m looking forward to the rest of the series!