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[Perspectives] Stories of shame

The American physician and writer, Danielle Ofri, tells the story of a near fatal mistake that she made at the beginning of the second year of her residency. A patient was brought to the emergency room in a diabetic coma, and although her initial management was fine, Ofri then made an error and “proceeded to nearly kill…[the] patient”. Recognising her predicament, she called for senior assistance. When an explanation was demanded of her performance, Ofri’s words dried up. Humiliation set in as she was questioned in front of her intern: “I could almost feel myself dying away on the spot.

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