We have often heard the phrase “everyone makes mistakes.” While this is readily accepted as fact in many fields of work, it is much less readily accepted by healthcare professionals, perhaps due to the fact that mistakes in healthcare can have profound consequences. Coping with our mistakes, especially when those mistakes result in poor outcomes can be challenging, yet it is important to recognize that our reactions to mistakes can be quite powerful. Feelings of guilt and shame often pervade the experience, influencing us in myriad ways that can all have an impact on the way we treat our patients.
This session is designed to help you:
- reflect on mistakes you have made during their medical careers
- identify your reactions to those mistakes and the sources of those reactions
- explore how those reactions impacted the care you delivered
- analyze strategies for coping with mistakes in the future.
Prior to the small group, reflect on a situation in which you made a medical mistake. Come to the small group with notes that will help you to:
- set the stage for the encounter
- identify how you reacted to the mistake you made, how you perceived others to react, and what you did in response to the mistake and your reactions to the mistake
- explore whether your experienced feelings of guilt or shame and if so, how you coped with them
- how the mistake impacted you on a personal level, and also how it impacted the care you delivered in the weeks that followed.
Review one or more of the resources below prior to the small group discussion and come prepared to discuss your reactions to them.