Angry Doctor

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's Paul McCartney - it doesn't have to make sense...


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

A Taste for Your Own Medicine

(Posted on the Singapore MD blog)

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Taste of Our Own Medicine

It's been another rough week.

Thing is, they teach you how to break bad news to patients or their relatives in medical school. People make a lot about it, but angry doc never really believed that how you broke the bad news was important: no matter how you say it, the patient is dying/had a stroke/may have cancer - the fashion in which you put the information across does not alter the fundamental clinical situation; if you don't do it badly and give the patient/relatives a reason to complain about you, they will find some other ways of expressing their anger at the medical system for not being able to stop or reverse the problem. It's all part of the grieving process.

What angry doc wishes they taught him though is how to break bad news to a patient who is a doctor, and one who is a colleague for many years.

When the patient is someone who possesses the same knowledge about the condition as you do, how do you make it sound better than what it actually is?

angry doc needs a drink...

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Taste of My Own Medicine

angry doc has had a rough week.

It all started with a semi-elective procedure he had to undergo, which was complicated by a medical error at the beginning, adverse effect of a medication following that, and now a possible drug allergy.

The medical error was unexpected but avoidable (and fortunately minor with no longterm consequences), the adverse effect was expected and unavoidable (the benefits of the therapy outweighed the adverse effect), and the drug allergy was of course unexpected and again unavoidable since the medication is part of the treatment.

So three out of four there.

Being a doctor doesn't grant angry doc immunity from adverse medical events, but it does make him see and react to these events differently from the average layman.

He understands how medical errors can occur even under the care of skilled and experienced healthcare workers acting under the best intentions, and he is willing to forgive (as long as the lesson learnt at his expense is not forgotten).

He understands how medications that are good for you can sometimes make you feel uncomfortable, and he is willing to accept that.

What he couldn't stomach though is that fact that it took him so long to self-diagnose the possible drug allergy.

But hey, given the circumstances, perhaps I should cut angry doc some slack, don't you think?

Wednesday, September 01, 2010