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Mistakes Sometimes Happen

Photo courtesy of Adam Foster


I had an interesting and instructive situation with a patient a while ago.


My patient had a hard fall on her shoulder and had gone to urgent care for help.  She was evaluated and found to have a partially separated shoulder.   In truth, however, she had a broken collar bone which was missed on the first set of x-rays.  Her MD wouldn’t follow up so we had to order a second set to finally get someone’s attention.  Here are the lessons.


  1. Sometimes mistakes happen, even with the experts.  It’s often necessary to question what you are told.
  2. A second opinion is never a bad idea.  If you can’t get someone to listen to your satisfaction, find someone else who will.
  3. It’s good to have an advocate go to bat for you.  When you’re hurting or feeling anxious, you may not stick up for yourself as you need to or even know the best things to ask.


My strong recommendation is that you never ever let yourself be pushed around or dismissed by any health care provider.  They are your employee!  You pay them to help you and if they aren’t doing a good job, fire them and find someone who will.  There’s too much at stake!


Have you ever had an experience like this?


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