Whether you are a doctor, nurse, student, or otherwise interested reader, the stories here will help you to understand how medicine works and how medical error can happen. The lifelong process of learning that is a medical career requires healthcare workers to find a way to live through these setbacks without either becoming too adept at putting them 'down to experience' and forgetting their social significance, or 'burning out' and leaving medicine.
The stories and discussions here present detailed narratives, analyses, and reflections on medical errors through actions, omissions, and misunderstandings. They offer a uniquely honest perspective on the social implications of medical error and will enable healthcare workers at all levels to analyse and learn from it without losing sight of its impact.
Table of Contents
General Notes: Confidentiality
1. Deeds: Mistaken Actions and Reactions
2. Words: Failures in Communication
3. Skin: Resilience
4. Infamy: On Judgement and Punishment
Philip Berry MBChB, MD, FRCP is a consultant physician and gastroenterologist at St Thomas Hospital, London, UK.