Robert H Miller, MD, MBA, is Executive Director of the American Board of Otolaryngology and Chair of the Editorial Board of ENT Today.
Explore this issue:December 2008
This issue’s Special Report is on quality improvement, an increasingly important health care issue not only in this country, but also in many other countries around the world. I don’t think anyone can argue with the fact that the US health care system is, overall, more advanced in technology, capabilities, and capacity than that of any other country in the world, a fact of which we American physicians should be very proud. However, there is always room for improvement.
I think sometimes physicians are overly sensitive to the media reports about thousands of patients dying each year because of medical errors, because they take it personally. Physicians feel very strongly about their patients’ well-being and we view ourselves as the captains of the ship, so when we hear reports of these medical misadventures, we inherently feel challenged or threatened. We may think our practices are being criticized unfairly when we are doing our best in what are difficult times. This reaction is both a good thing and a bad thing.