Monday, January 19, 2009

Planes-Patients-Pilots, Specialists and Surgeons (Happy Hospitalist Analogy)

Here is a link to the Happy Hospitalist's current post "Studied it and Rehearsed it", a post in which he points out the direct correlation to the pilot's being able to successfully land his plane in the Hudson River and the fact that he studied and rehearsed for an emergency event. The pilot was prepared.

He goes on to make the clever analogy of patients being the plane and the specialists and surgeons are the pilots guiding the plane.

Here is part of what Happy said:
  • "Do you want a surgeon in training who clocks out out at 5 pm to meet residency restrictions. A surgeon that missed that case with the rare anatomical deviation because he/she worked too hard the day before? Because residency restrictions demanded it. Without extending residencies, the loss of clinical experience is a loss for patient care.
  • Do you want an internist who must leave their training at noon to take a five hour nap because they are tired? Because residency restrictions demanded it. Do you want them missing that lecture on TTP. Missing that lecture on glomerularnephritis. What if you are that patient that came in with TTP? Your plane is crashing and your pilot has never studied it. Has never rehearsed it. Without extending residencies, the loss of clinical experience is a loss for patient care.
  • Do you want a nurse practitioner independently managing your multiorgan failure in your ED? Remember. Study and rehearse. Study and rehearse. Do you want someone who has not experienced the breadth of training in both evaluation or management. Do you want them guiding your plane down unchartered territories."
I don't know how they function without sleep, but I want the specialist/surgeon who is trained and prepared for anything that comes at him/her. Someone who has proven the metal they're made of and that they can stand against the storms.
Go over to Happy's blog to read the post in it's entirety. There are interesting comments to read as well.


Dr. Deb said...

Anyone who is rested and alert should be on my team!

Dr. Deb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
SeaSpray said...

Hi Dr Deb-I know that is important..but then they should have longer training to compensate for loss of hours. Sleep deprivation is scary tho.