2. Ego

‘Senior doctors may actively oppose or denigrate methods which are safer and/or more successful — not just for themselves but for their learners and the system as a whole too — in part because the innovation makes their own deft skill with the old tools less important.’ – Dr Robert Farrell.

‘A disturbing (but very natural) ego-protective attitude occurs where staff reject innovations that make their carefully-honed skills less relevant.

If you are a wizard at landmark-based central lines, do you embrace ultrasound? If you have honed your skills with a direct laryngoscope with hundreds or thousands of intubations, how do you feel about a device allowing direct and video laryngoscopy? (see here)

This is the second of a series of posts looking at the obstacles to patient safety:

See 1. Cognitive Dissonance

4 thoughts on “2. Ego

  1. Oh, goodness YES! Why do physicians demand their “doctor” title always be used? I have a PhD in nursing and physicians I’ve worked with for years still get squirmy when I use their first names. Not to mention that they think it’s their prerogative to insult and disparage individuals and even entire professions in a professional setting. And, no, not all physicians – but, yes, every nurse has experienced this.


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