“Let your mistakes haunt you and they will destroy you. Let your mistakes teach you and they will grow you” – Ross Hofmeyr
Dr Ross Hofmeyr talks about making mistakes and how we deal with them through telling the stories of his best and biggest blunders.
Because the only clinicians who do not make mistakes are those who do not see patients, we need to be prepared to identify and act on our mistakes: own them, fix them but most importantly LEARN from them.
Take home messages:
My mistakes are your free lessons – get over your disinclination not to own and learn from your mistakes!
Confidence is good. Cockiness tempts fate. Complacency breeds muck-ups.
Making mistakes is inevitable, learning from them is not. Learning requires ownership and effort.
In the picture below, people were asked to raise their red card if they had ever made a mistake which they thought may have or actually did harm a patient. EVERY single person raised their cards.
MBChB (Stell), DipPEC, DA, FCA (SA) Department of Anaesthesia & Critical Care, University of Cape Town Groote Schuur Hospital and Red Cross War Memorial Children’s Hospital Proudly South African, Ross was born and educated at the continent’s tip in Cape Town. Since qualifying from the University of Stellenbosch, his professional fields of interest have centred upon acute and critical care, trauma, anaesthesia, aeromedical, emergency and wilderness medicine. He is a former doctor and overwintering Expedition Leader for the South African National Antarctic Expedition, and has worked extensively as an expedition doctor. After shifting his predominant focus to anaesthesia, he now enjoys the challenges as the Airway Lead for the Department of Anaesthesia at the University of Cape Town. He is a long-serving member of the mountain rescue team and flight doctor for the Red Cross Air Mercy Service. Ross’s clinical and research interests include all facets of airway management, aeromedical care, remote and expedition medicine, point-of-care investigation, and thermoregulation. He is a keen course director, instructor, speaker and #FOAM enthusiast with numerous publications. When not providing care in the hospital or abroad, Ross is usually to be found in the wilds, committing random acts of aviation and/or adventure.