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Posts tagged ‘podcasts’

Doctors make mistakes.

TED posted this powerful talk today about the toxic culture of perfectionism in medicine. This shows the importance of acknowledging mistakes—not only for patients, but also for quality improvement efforts and for physicians’ well-being.

It takes a lot of courage to do what this doctor did: to get up in front of a crowd and trot out a laundry list of personal mistakes. Most doctors seem to have one story they’re willing to tell, usually about a mistake they made during residency. So is Dr. Goldman just a terrible doctor? Maybe. But he felt it was important to speak on this topic, which tells me he’s probably a great doctor. And if great doctors make mistakes like this, what does that say about the mediocre doctors? So many errors and near misses go unreported and unacknowledged. How can we fix the system and care for our doctors when we don’t know the whole story?

The Milgram study

Ask any social psychologist what their favorite experiment is, and the Milgram obedience study is bound to come up—repeatedly. If I ranked my favorite studies, it would definitely be in the top 5. It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve learned about it or taught undergrads about it. Every time, I feel like I come away with a new way to think about the findings.

The other day I was listening to Radiolab’s episode “The Bad Show,”which is about why people do bad things. Not surprisingly, they discuss the Milgram study. Read more

Losing time

If you haven’t heard of it, WNYC’s Radiolab is an excellent radio show/podcast. Radiolab describes itself as a show where “the boundaries blur between science, philosophy, and human experience.” I highly, highly recommend it.

The episode “In the Running” talks about Diane Van Deren, an ultra-runner who has won several 50- and 100-mile races. Because of a seizure disorder, a large chunk of her temporal lobe was surgically removed. Importantly, the temporal lobe helps us to understand time and space. After the surgery, Diane developed short-term memory loss. Spatial and temporal reasoning became more difficult for her. But when she started ultra-running, these deficits gave her an important advantage: she loses track of time. To listen to the episode, click the audio player below (episode starts 3 minutes in):

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