Oct 5, 2010


When i talked about doctor's malpractice in my last post, believe it or not, all doctors, without any exception, are included. The only difference is, to what extent?

There are 2 types of errors in medical practice; errors of ignorance (mistakes we make because we don't know enough), and errors of ineptitude (mistakes we made because we don’t make proper use of what we know). And i personally think that most malpractices in hospitals are because of the latter.

You can't boast and say that u NEVER did such thing. Lemme give u a simple example.

A stethoscope.

Do u know how many diseases can u get from a stethoscope?

Almost every doctor in a hospital, or a clinic - regardless of what disease does the patient have - will use the stethoscope to check your blood pressure, heart sound, breathing sound, bowel movement sound etc. The stethoscope is pressed onto the patient's sweaty chest, and then transferred to another patient without any prior cleaning and disinfecting.

This is what Atul Gawande in his book 'Better: A surgeon's note on performance' emphasized on. Simple things like washing hands and disinfecting surgical instruments.. and a couple of other things that may have been taken for granted by doctors.

That's why Dr. Robert S. Mendelsohn; a medical heretic who was actively criticizing the practices of modern medicine, talked about the 'compulsory ritual' performed by doctors - which is using the stethoscope unnecessarily, just to make the patient 'feel good' about themselves, that they are being taken care of by the doctor.

While in fact, sometimes the use of stethoscope is of no significant importance. On the contrary it could even transfer some infectious diseases from one patient to another.

There's a lot we are still to learn. Even when u feel that u're the best doctor in town, or a top student in your class, there are still things that u are yet to improve.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You can't live long enough to make it all yours. (^^)

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