There is so much I want to share about my interactions with so many people in and out of healthcare on this blog…I will try to keep it to one observation at a time!
During the past five years or so, I have been extremely privileged to speak at conferences all over the country. After most presentations, there is a question and answer period (which is always painful to me personally). I wait and pray there will be someone brave enough to ask a question. The moments usually drag on…and, at last, there will be a question. Usually that question is simple – no controversy. But, what never ceases to amaze me is that after these presentations, there is a line a people waiting to ask questions or tell me their personal stories that they weren’t comfortable enough to share publicly. The personal stories were usually from clinicians who had been at the sharp end of an adverse event and got no support whatsoever. They still felt horrible about what had happened.
In the last six months to a year, though, there has been a bit of a shift. The painful stories clinicians have are now being shared publicly, and they are no longer waiting to line up after my talk. It’s clear there has been a shift -- no longer are clinicians willing to suffer in silence about how these adverse medical events affect them. Is the phrase “this is the price of practicing medicine (or doing business)” still applicable, or are we reaching the “Tipping Point”?