TED Talks: Ideas worth spreading

Dr. Brian Goldman at TEDx Toronto: "Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?"

The word is TED Talks aren’t what they used to be. But for me at least, any change in the quality of the lectures has been from amazing to merely excellent with a large dose of outstanding. The TED site now offers well over 900 presentations from some of the world’s most gifted thinkers so chances are, you are still going to find plenty of “Wow!” moments.

If you haven’t come across TED before, it originally started out in 1984 as a conference for people involved in the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. Since then, its scope has expanded significantly and the lectures on the TED site cover a wide spectrum from ethics and philosophy to medicine and hard science. The one thing they have in common is they are all varying degrees of thought provoking.

The screen shot above is from a presentation I’ve watched a few times now (link below). In it Dr. Brian Goldman, an emergency room physician and journalist, speaks about the extremely high frequency of medical errors and urges doctors to end medicine’s culture of denial (and shame). His position is basically that we need to accept doctors are human and while mistakes are inevitable, they can at least be reduced with a more realistic and supportive system.

It is a very positive message but also a disturbing one as Dr. Goldman explains just how flawed the medical system really is and describes his own role in the death and near-death of a long string of patients. Well worth watching before your next doctor’s appointment.

Other details and resources
Brian Goldman: Doctors make mistakes. Can we talk about that?

Leave a comment...