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Mistakes In Medicine: Saying Sorry to Patients & Their Families

The first time I encountered this dilemma was while sitting in the back of my “medical law” course in medical school, with a highly esteemed lawyer, who seemed rather stern in his approach, at the front of the class. “Never say sorry.” That was his advice, as saying “I’m sorry” inherently implies you did wrong, which is bad for your institution and your career. I nodded, jotted it down in my notes, then went on a two year study binge where this question never came up again.

Four Reasons Why It's Okay to Make Mistakes as a Med Student or Resident (and How You Can Learn from Them)

A few weeks ago I was working with some fourth year medical students in the emergency department as they helped care for and follow patients. When it came time to disposition patients, I asked the students if they would like to call any consults or admitting services but, my request was met with some hesitation. I remember as a medical student, and even an intern, I too was nervous about calling consults for fear of being questioned or “pimped” about the patients or even receiving push back about an admission. However, as I explained to the medical students, it is okay, and sometimes even beneficial, to make mistakes while in training because these mistakes and experiences are what help us become stronger, more competent physicians.

Top Four Mistakes Residency Applicants Make on ERAS

You can feel it in the air. We are in the thick of ERAS season. Opening day was way back on June 6th this year...you’ve started your application, right? Or maybe you were waiting for us to publish this guide and let you know the 4 mistakes that students make on their ERAS application. Avoid these pitfalls like Yesinia pestis, and watch your application float to the top of the pile.

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