Tag Archives: patient safety

The medical apology: have you ever received one?

26 Aug

by Carolyn Thomas    @HeartSisters     August 26, 2018

I’ve been invited to participate in an academic study on an interesting concept: the medical apology. My first reaction was to decline the invitation, explaining that never once have I had a healthcare professional apologize to me when something went wrong. And I’ve had a few things go very, very wrong.

I could have used an apology at age 16, for example, when the infirmary nurse at my convent boarding school repeatedly refused my pleas to call the local doctor for my severe appendicitis symptoms, instead blaming them first on the flu, the next day on my period, and the third day on exam anxiety. I was finally hospitalized with a ruptured appendix and near-fatal peritonitis that required a month-long hospital stay. A little “I’m sorry” would have been nice. . .

But I’m thinking that some of you might have some interesting personal experiences about receiving a medical apology to share on this subject. If you’d like to get involved, here’s how to contact the researchers: Continue reading

A doctor’s perspective: 10 worst hospital design features

19 Nov

by Carolyn Thomas

South Carolina physician Dr. Val Jones recently spent eight long days in the hospital, sitting at the bedside of a loved one. She learned that  the only upside of such a vigil was being “reminded of what it feels like to be a hospital patient – or at least the family member of one”. 

Personally, I have to admit that I get a bit light-headed whenever a doctor writes about becoming a hospital patient – or, as in Dr. Val’s case, the bedside companion of somebody they care about who becomes one.

Welcome to our world, doctors!  Continue reading