All Emergency Docs fear the “hey, remember that patient…” conversation with a colleague. It’s hardly ever ego-stroking news.
I had one of those tonight. “Hey, remember the patient…” and, yes I did. Yes, I missed something. The patient wasn’t harmed, and my excellent colleague took care of the problem, just wanted me to know. That the patient will be fine was reassuring, if not exculpating.
I appreciated that my colleague told me. Having been on both sides of that conversation, it’s uncomfortable for the sender as well as the receiver. Also, the knowledge will help me slightly tweak one aspect of my care. (If the vagueness of this bugs you, it bugs me, too. Thank a room full of lawyers).
So: Not Perfect. I’ve never professed to be, and frankly don’t hope to be, as that’s a setup for failure and disappointment. I have in my sights a somewhat lower goal: do the best I can, and make as few mistakes as possible. People are human, and make mistakes. Doctors are human. Do the math.