It happens all the time, well, not “oops” during an operation, but during the day at the office. I don’t know if anyone of us actually means it, but it happens. What happens is a slip of the tongue, a roll of the eyes or similar body language displaying some disgust or disappointment with something or someone………………within the office. It comes from the office staff AND the docs (except me). It is meant to be a disclaimer that something is not our fault (e.g. equipment malfunctioning), but it sends of message of ineptitude. How come?
We all learned in childhood how defend ourselves by blaming failure on someone else or something else, always directing blame away from ourselves. This became more difficult as we approached the teenage years, but we still did it any way. When something wrong happens, the immediate reaction is to point a finger at someone or something.
What message does this send to our patients? When a patient comes to a doctor’s office, or any professional establishment, he expects people that are confident and competent. The staff and all those around should be exuding confidence and be behaving in a professional, controlled manner. Patient’s have expectations, real or otherwise, and are keenly observant. Comments and body language may give you an excuse, but actually high light problems. This erodes the confidence.
Just my thoughts of the day.
Randall V. Wong, M.D.
Ophthalmologist, Retina Specialist