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The focus should be patient safety..

Posted by plosmedicine on 31 Mar 2009 at 00:13 GMT

Author: Dr. William Hoyos
Position: Family Practice Instructor
Institution: Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud
Additional Authors: None
Submitted Date: August 30, 2007
Published Date: August 30, 2007
This comment was originally posted as a “Reader Response” on the publication date indicated above. All Reader Responses are now available as comments.

As many others, I share the reality lived at Hospital Nacional San Rafael. The excessive work hours and the lack of supervision from staff (because most of the time there are no attending physicians at the hospital) of all the student activities that students are in charge of at the hospital, make at many occasions that we provide a substandard level of attention to our patients, and unconsciously we become accomplices of acts of medical negligence and irresponsibility.

Articles like these, and the analysis of medical educators and doctors, have started to make an echo in the healthcare system and are slowly driving forward much-needed change.

Medical practice which is focused on PATIENT SAFETY is the guarantee of a system of quality.

As long as the system continues to see the medical student and physician in training as a cheap labour force and manipulates the needs (of sleep or otherwise) of junior doctors, the current situation will change little or will not change at all.

Would you be able to provide healthcare when the environment where you work is unhealthy from excessive workloads, depression, anxiety, burnout, sleep deprivation and fatigue? I, for instance, had a car accident following a shift during my intership...

A change in the attitude of each and every one of the students is of foremost importance. Perseverance and the courage to demand quality of healthcare and respecting patients at the bedside in our daily hospital activities will accelerate change and will generate a better working environment and will also recuperate the excellent image our noble profession used to have just some decades ago.

No competing interests declared.