Discussion: How to Improve Accountability in Medicine?
It seems counterintuitive that doctors would need to be given a strategy on how to prevent medical errors, when the purpose of the medical field itself is to heal “errors” in the human body to begin with. By nature, the purpose of doctors and medicine is to resolve medical issues that arise. However, if a person seeking a doctor’s help goes to the hospital for corrective surgery – only to end up worse-off than how they were upon walking through the hospital doors, then the hospital system has failed them. About 1 million people or more go to the hospital for treatment but become harmed from hospital-related injuries and medical mistakes. Imagine seeking minor surgery for back pain, but leaving the hospital permanently paralyzed.
It also seems counterintuitive that the Institute of Medicine (IOM) provided strategies to prevent medical errors 23 years ago, but there still is not an agency that tracks if these preventable errors have decreased. Individuals in society are held accountable for all of their actions and errors through the criminal justice system every day, yet health care providers have not taken the advice of the IOM into consideration by making hospital systems accountable for the patient-harm problem. Why are the powers of the healthcare system mysteriously able to hide such medical errors from the public? Rarely do we learn of medical mistakes from the media despite how common they actually are. Nevertheless, doctors and medicine, whose purposes are to treat illness and injury, are sometimes the very cause of worse health issues than the initial problem itself, and individuals must pay attention to this when seeking medical help.
The Counterintuitive World
It is counterintuitive that counterintuitive reactions help us. One would think praising a person for their accomplishments would help them further succeed, but the opposite can be true. Praising a person when they have done well can lead to a worse performance which can lead them to setbacks. If a person performs at their best, and you praise them for it, you have to remember that sometimes that one performance was in fact their best, meaning there is nowhere for them to go but “down,” or to do worse the next time. It is the same with going to the doctor – you go not when you first get sick, but when you get worse, so of course once you finally seek medical attention, you are usually only going to get better from there. So, it is counterintuitive to think that the positive help we get from others is what is actually helping us. What is helping us might just be the inevitability of what comes next.
Going to the gym to lose weight seems intuitive to losing weight; however, if you eat right in the first place you might not gain the weight that you end up needing to lose. Strengthening a fighter plane by studying its parts that were able to take bullets still fails to see the weak parts of the plane. Nevertheless, success in any area is usually looked at as a combination of several purposeful accomplishments, but there are natural variants that contribute to success, or failures, that cannot be overlooked.
Does Using Paper Take CO2 out of the Environment?
It seems counterintuitive to cut down trees to make paper because trees sequester carbon dioxide; however, we do need paper, and that only comes from trees. Apparently, chopping down trees for paper is not as terrible as one would think because to some extent, paper can in fact sequester carbon dioxide. One would think that cutting down so many trees will mean that more carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere, but this is only the case if the trees are burned or decomposed. So it is counterintuitive to think that chopping down trees is always a detrimental action.
It also seems counterintuitive to think that paper is garbage once it is used. Some scientists are now saying that paper can store carbon for two to three years, and can be stored for longer in paper that we recycle. Think of it this way – you write all of your notes down in your notebook for class, and at the end of the semester you probably throw your notes out thinking that there is no benefit for others to have this notebook filled with papers that may contain formulas, definitions, or even essays. However, your notes can go to good use – if you recycle them. We as humans have a responsibility to help sequester carbon with the paper that we use on a daily basis by recycling it so that it can be reused, as China does for the cardboard boxes they use for packaging toys and electronics that are shipped to us. Therefore, it is counterintuitive to throw out your paper thinking that there is no use for it, when in fact, you personally can help sequester carbon.
Just a quick note to acknowledge I’ve seen your Summaries. Insufferable feedback to follow.
I love that you’re already practicing synthesis, Devils, carefully combining new readings with “stuff” you already know, personal experience and insights, and academic ideas from your other sources.
Hi Professor, What should I start off looking at in my summaries to make them better?
I don’t know your capabilities well enough yet to know if this is your best work, Devils. Aspects of both your writing and your thinking could be improved (or perhaps your thinking is crystal clear and perceptive but your writing doesn’t accurately communicate it). Let’s look at one paragraph in two parts. The Praise for Best Behavior part:
You claim that instead of praise resulting in further success, THE OPPOSITE is true. For this reader, that sets up an expectation that when I praise someone, my praise WILL CAUSE THEM to perform more poorly. It sounds like a causal claim. You reinforce that impression with your next sentence in which you actually state that PRAISING CAN LEAD TO WORSE PERFORMANCE. The following sentence casts doubt on your claim AND our interpretation. We don’t know what to think after you tell us that “there is nowhere for them to go but down.”
The Doctors Don’t Cure Us part:
The actual phenomenon you’re describing is very different from what you’ve led us to understand, which becomes clear when we read about the doctor experience. We go to the doctor at our worst, so following our visit we get better. We credit the doctor for our improvement BUT WE SHOULDN’T, just as we SHOULDN’T BLAME THE PRAISE we receive for our best performance if we do worse after we receive it. Medical care doesn’t make us better; praise doesn’t make us worse.
That’s how the parts fit. Your sentence: “Praising a person when they have done well can lead to a worse performance which can lead them to setbacks” completely undermines our understanding. And that’s the difference between a B+ and an A-.
You’re probably capable of A work, but you’ll have to be very alert to the meaning of your sentences.