Medicine - a bitter pill
Steve Ainsworth advises that dealing with patients' complaints is a stressful experience
- By: Steve Ainsworth
“Once upon a happy time doctors buried their mistakes.” That's one fairy tale at least that's not true. Believe me, I know. In one capacity or another I've spent the best part of 30 years listening to patients complaining about their experiences of the medical profession and attending hearings at which accused doctors have, in varying degrees of defiance or dejection, been asked to account for their acts and omissions.
Medical students will just have to face up to it, being a doctor is a dangerous profession. When I was young I often heard doctors moan about something they called “double jeopardy.” What they meant was that not only did they risk being sued for their failings but they also faced the prospect of being hauled before the General Medical Council.
When I knew a little more I realised that it was actually much worse than mere double jeopardy. The