With privilege comes great responsibility


With privilege comes great responsibility!

That’s the lesson we got from one of the scariest lectures ever!

It was a “Patient Safety” lecture, a lecture that rendered some of us speechless and welled tears in some of our eyes.

When we decided to choose Medical school, we had different reasons: Some of us wanted to be Doctors since they were kids, others couldn’t think of being anything but doctors, some others have medicine running in the family, Some simply wanted to help people, some saw it as the best choice there, some were pressured by their families, and others had their own reasons.

We knew that being a doctor meant being responsible for someone’s life, but to what extent? We didn’t truly know. We were outside observers until we took that lecture!

Letting the numbers speak, we get a scary picture. Doctors Are The Third Leading Cause of Death in the US, Killing 250,000 People Every Year! According to an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) :

– 12,000 unnecessary surgery

-7,000 — Medication errors in hospitals

-20,000 — Other errors in hospitals

-80,000 — Infections in hospitals

-106,000 — Non-error, negative effects of drugs

AND  70% of medical errors could be prevented!

Some diseases are even called “Doctor induced diseases”!

In the eyes of society, a doctor is an equal to a saint. He is trusted, believed, and held as a role model. When he recommends a treatment, or give an advice he is word is often taken for granted. Sometimes, people turn to him even for emotional and moral support!

So what happens when doctors start acting neglectfully, ignorantly, highhandedly, and commit some unforgivable mistake?

Their angelic picture shatters, and they lose people’s trust! Their reputation is put on the line. Along with their jobs.

People start fearing doctors. They think of them as criminals, butchers, and some worse names! They stay at home, Risk their health sometimes, opting for peace and quiet instead of subjecting their selves to what horrible things they hear that doctors do!

Maybe it’ll be enough to remember that as doctors, we deal with people. Human beings. Life.

Souls that have family, spouses, friends, Kids, Parents, Dreams, and plans for their futures!

I can’t deny that doctors are humans, and they make mistakes too. But some mistakes are unaffordable!

Just put yourself in your patient’s shoes. If you were sick, would you trust yourself enough as a doctor to seek your medical advice?

Just think about it for a minute…

It is a heavy responsibility!




About Afnan Amer

A Medical Intern who likes to think of herself as curious, ambitious, and a Book worm with interest in documentaries and dependence To-Do lists. A believer in social responsibility and the volunteering culture. You were not taught how to talk to remain silent!
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One Response to With privilege comes great responsibility

  1. وائل كتب:

    doctors are humans and they may make mistakes as humans do !
    but they have to be accurate, ethical, honest and faith..

    we really need to teach healthcare society the humanity of medicine instead of filling their minds with dry science !

    i like your writings here … but it needs some formal article format :)

    thank you a lot !


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