KevinMD August 7, 2022
Michael Day, MD

Primum non nocere.  First, do no harm.

All doctors are familiar with this credo. From ancient precepts such as the Hippocratic Oath promising to abstain from doing harm to the modern bioethics principle of nonmaleficence, the calling of physicians involves striving to help alleviate suffering and avoid making it worse. In our increasingly complex health care and data environment, avoiding inadvertent harm can be more difficult than one might expect.

I attended medical school in the late 2000s and completed my residency training in orthopedic surgery during the first half of the 2010s. It was a ten-year period during which pain was emphasized as a “fifth vital sign,” placing it in the hierarchy of crucial indicators of being alive along...

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