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A Piece of My Mind
January 27, 2015

What I Learned About Adverse Events From Captain SullyIt’s Not What You Think

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Anesthesiology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
JAMA. 2015;313(4):361-362. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.16025

This is not a piece about how medicine should take a cue from aviation and incorporate simulations into training. It is not about how medicine should learn from aviation and develop emergency checklists and algorithms. It is not about how medicine should learn from aviation and promote blame-free error reporting. No, it is not even about how medicine should learn from aviation and incorporate briefings, debriefings, and safety language models. Medicine safety culture is experiencing a bit of “aviation fatigue,” and it is often noted that patients are not airplanes. Patients are not airplanes, it is true. But humans are human whether they be pilots, physicians, or patients. And so when folks say a key difference between aviation and medicine is that the pilot goes down with the plane, I beg to differ. The well-being of physicians is directly tied to the well-being of their patients.

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