The main goal of any medical professional is to give their patients the best possible care that they can provide. The profession exists to help people. Many young medical students embrace this idealism with optimism, looking forward to the day that they can work hard for others.
However, the reality is that many patients and doctors feel like people do not get the care that they deserve. The doctor-patient relationship is not as healthy as it should be. They understand that this can lead to mistakes and even malpractice, but changing the system starts by understanding how things got to this point in the first place.
Doctors do difficult jobs
The first thing to understand is that being a doctor is not easy. It's not as formulaic as people often assume. When you go see the doctor, they may not know what is wrong or how to treat it. We often put doctors on a pedestal as if they can instantly assess any ailment and give you a miracle cure, but that's rarely the case.
They face organizational chaos
When talking about how an emergency room operates, one expert said that it is essentially organizational chaos. Doctors have to decide in an instant who to treat first and what treatment they need.
Life-and-death decisions happen in seconds. Since speed is so important, proper organization is often hard or impossible. Some doctors make mistakes simply because they cannot possibly keep track of what patients they've seen or what those people need. One error in paperwork or miscommunication among coworkers can prove deadly for a patient.
They become detached
Perhaps through no fault of their own, doctors tend to become detached. They have seen it all. They don't connect with their patients on the same emotional level that they did years before.
It's easy to understand why it happens. Seeing the first gunshot wound is jarring; meeting the first child with cancer is devastating. But can the doctor possibly feel the same way with the 100th gunshot wound or the 100th cancer patient? By the very nature of their work, they may become disconnected. Can this lead to a lower level of care than people deserve?
Another potential issue is that health care in the United States is very expensive. Doctors get caught up thinking about payments and budgets. They have to work with insurance companies. They face red tape. The whole process gets complex and doctors are forced to put a lot of energy into things other than serving their patients.
When some combination of the above leads to medical malpractice and critical mistakes, it is important for those who suffer harm to know all of the rights they have to financial compensation.