In Both My Driving Habits And My Surgical Practice, I Look Both Ways
I noticed something different about my driving habits lately. At a traffic light I used to accept the green as an open invitation to drive through unconcerned, confident that other drivers would see the red and do what they are supposed to do: stop.
I don’t do that anymore. I always look to see if the road is clear, and other drivers have indeed stopped. And then I go. I have come to anticipate the worst of other users of the road, and I no longer take a chance, even if I am 100% within my rights to do so.
On thinking about it, the same thing has happened to my surgical practice. I used to operate without dwelling on the negative consequences of surgery. I’ve always known that bad things happen to patients even in the hands of good surgeons, but that didn’t stop me not giving the prospect a second thought when I was newly qualified.