On Mistakes and Truth Telling
I’ve made quite a few mistakes in my time. They come back to haunt me late at night. Missing a diagnosis, prescribing the wrong drug, botching a procedure. Sometimes, patients have died as a result of my mistakes. Other times, my mistakes have increased their suffering. When they come back to me, late at night, I hold court in my mind, replaying events, wondering whether they were honest mistakes, forgivable mistakes, or if not, how I can go on. Some of the worst were when I was a resident.