The story of Michael Skolnik and Citizens for Patient Safety

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I was very sad and quite angry after watching a powerful video this weekend, “The Faces of Medical Error… From Tears to Transparency.” It was the story of Michael Skolnik. His mother, Patty, gave me the video when I met her recently. The story is that Michael had what may have been unnecessary brain surgery in 2001 and died three years later.

The Skolniks worked on this video as part of an educational campaign on medical error. And they created an organization now named Citizens for Patient Safety.

Here’s a trailer to the video:

You can also watch a Today Show segment that profiled the Skolniks from a few years ago.

While much of the message is about medical errors and about malpractice, the Skolniks also promote a message of the “critical need for shared decision-making.” In fact, I met Patty at a shared decision-making conference.

If you haven’t heard Michael Skolnik’s story, you should.

And if you’re like me, you’ll need the tissue box close by for the sadness and something else to help with the ensuing anger.

Thanks to Patty Skolnik for sharing the story and the video with me.


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