All obstetricians make mistakes.
All gynaecologists make mistakes.
The consequences for women and their families can be devastating but medical error also includes the second victim – you.
Following a mistake, there will be processes to deal with which could include:
- internal investigations and root cause analysis meetings
- external complaints
- press interest
- court attendance.
These processes, however, do not focus on reflection and dealing with the emotional impact of having made a mistake. Reflection helps us learn from our mistakes, although it is important to ensure that reflection does not lead to rumination – going over and over the mistake again without moving on. For more information see the StratOG eTutorial on Reflective practice.
To learn from our mistakes we need to be resilient. In the following sections of this tutorial, we present three tools to help you be more resilient.