Risk, guarantee & warranty…..these three words are frequently quoted by patients. Risk is more common word used in medical practise. Guarantee & warranty are newly added word due to social media dominance. I personally feel guarantee & warranty words should be use by manufacturers for its product, not for human. Doctors are not making products but treating some defects in human body.
Let’s discuss about risk today. If you search on definition of risk on wikipedia, it shows you risk means situation involving exposure to danger. While in chinese language, risk described in two symbol “风险“. first symbol suggest danger & second symbol suggest opportunity. Every risky things creates opportunity. I like this chinese philosophy. Now next question is how much risk one should take? I feel person should take small-small risk & creates different opportunity. One should not take risk which wipe out him completely.
Risk has two types, one which is countable, other is non-countable(non-measurable) risk. I have found out that patients & doctors (both parties) gives so much importance to countable risk & ignore non-countable risk. Non countable risk is more important & dangerous. I have discussed it below…
When patients ask me for risk in treatment, I explain them 2-5% risk depending on procedure that means 95-98% chance of favourable outcome. Most of these patients loves to hear “0% risk”. This is procedural risk, which is countable. While treating patients, both party(doctors & patients) are exposed to many risk, which are not countable & both party give very less importance to it. Like mal-practise, skill for treating disease, patient’s faith on doctors etc……all these things can not be counted in percentage but it’s more important than countable risk…….that’s why i like quote by einstein: ” NOT EVERYTHINGS THAT COUNTS, CAN BE COUNTED & NOT EVERYTHINGS THAT COUNTED , CAN BE COUNTS”.
Dr Mohal Banker