How many contradictions, or rather, pairings that we see as contradictions, confronted me with each patient I saw, comparing in my mind the medicine I practice every day in clinic with the kind of health care delivered in our hospitals!
- Providing each person the care that works for her uniquely, while uniformly assuring best practices for safety to hundreds of patients at a time.
- Getting the tests and treatments that are needed as fast as possible, while deliberating appropriately on the evidence base of every intervention.
- Treating pain -- but acknowledging the dangers of opiate addiction.
- Enabling the patient to make decisions, while recognizing they need the support of a treatment team in an alienating and scary environment.
- Discharging as soon as medically possible, while aiding the patient in their convalescence.
- Hewing to principles of safety and organizational efficiency, while being unafraid to venture out of the box when changed situations demand it.