Patient complaints and the response arc

  One of the painful duties that accompanies consultancy or general practice is that of responding to complaints. However good you are, or think you are, the huge numbers of patients that you see mean that complaints are inevitable. How doctors and nurses react to them is very important – both internally and externally. Their... Continue Reading →

Right to be wrong: being comfortable with uncertainty

  There are occasions when having the confidence to be wrong, and to be seen to be wrong, is advantageous to the patient. Two cases: I once saw a patient with signs of liver failure, but there was something about her that didn’t make sense. No risk factors, no alcohol. She had too much fluid in... Continue Reading →

Leadership – the immediacy of example

Leadership, I am sure, takes many forms, but explicit exposure to the theories and approaches that might have helped develop doctors of my generation was lacking. The leadership that I was conscious of, as a trainee, was the example set by my seniors. Thus, as a consultant myself, the most direct route to leadership that I... Continue Reading →

A gift freely given: dialogue on organ donation

This week it was announced that liver transplants would be offered to ‘heavy drinkers’ in a pilot programme. Patients will be young (typically less than 40) and will have such severe liver disease that the chance of them surviving the hitherto accepted period of 4-6 months of abstinence are remote. This has raised concerns that people... Continue Reading →

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