What do motorcycles and risk normalisation have in common?

11 Nov 2019

Dr John Zorbas, immediate past AMACDT Chair, discusses risk normalisation and risk fatigue within and outside of the office in October Australian Medicine“Motorcycles equals death, or joy. Risk was definitely not in the eye of the beholder, but everyone else. This process became a daily reminder, and my thoughts moved to risk in health care. It’s not a new topic, not by a long shot. But our risk management systems are as broken as the opinions on my motorcycle.” 

If you’ve ever submitted a risk management report and watched it fall into a large vortex with no meaningful follow-up or outcome, you’re risk fatigued. If you notice the risk, but everyone around you is saying “this is fine” as the house burns down, you’re suffering from risk normalisation. I’d argue that every doctor in Australia falls into one of these two categories, with the exception of interns and the mad. And I need you to get mad. I need you to get mad, because nothing is going to change until you do. You’re the person who sees the patient. You’re the one with that intimate contact and understanding. You’re the patient’s strongest advocate, save for the patient themselves. 

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