Dealing with errors and the plight of perfectionism Q&A

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We thank you for sending in your questions in the comments section during the 'Dealing with errors and the plight of perfectionism' webinar. In order to address all your unedited questions, the following is a summary we have split into a selection of general categories:

1. Any suggestions for good coaching book/ mainly dealing with how to prevent or treat doctor burnouts?

2. I am not clear with confirmatory bias. Please explain in simple. Thank you.

This is our tendency to see what we want to see of expect to see. We tend to search for information that is confirmatory, we weight this evidence more heavily than disconfirming information, and we interpret ambiguous information as consistent with what we already believe or want.

3. Are the growth and set mindset a bit or nature vs nurture? To some extent some people just "got it" or don’t, right?

When it comes to fixed mindset it is common to think that is genetic; we either have it or we don’t. But we know from research is that the adult brain is malleable and there are also epigenetic factors at play. Thus, you may have inherited a gene, but it may not get triggered until you experience certain experiences in the environment and we also kno

w that genetics it is not synonymous with biology. When you practice and work on something the part of your brain that controls that function gets more neurons in it, more neural connections. You’re changing your biology. So, this is much more complex than we ever realised.

4. What are your tips for junior doctors who are trying to navigate a unbiased decisions but within the hierarchies that exist in medicine?

Do you mean if you see someone senior making a biased or incorrect decision? It’s important to speak up. You can do this respectfully by posing a question – “I was wondering if it might be possible that this patient is suffering from X”

5. The operational governance often clashes with clinical governance structure when it comes to risk management. How do you think we navigate through it? especially since a clinical mindset has different priorities than operational managers.

This is a difficult issue. It is the job of the organisation’s top leadership to make sure that operational and clinical governance align but unfortunately this often does not happen.  For the clinician caught in this, talking with senior clinical colleagues, those in top leadership positions, can be helpful. Point out the gaps that you see, and how these gaps are interfering with good clinical practice, and then offer to help, perhaps by leading a project to close one of the gaps. 


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