Ryan Crane: Malpractice and Accountability in Engineering—A Surgeon's Take – Strong Towns

In most medical centers, physicians hold routine “morbidity and mortality” conferences, where they analyze cases where patients died or were seriously injured while under medical care. In today’s episode of The Strong Towns Podcast, otolaryngologist and surgeon Ryan Crane discusses how these morbidity and mortality conferences are a chance for medical practitioners to learn, through peer review, where they may have gone wrong in caring for a patient.
“Was there anything that we missed? Was there something about the patient that we didn’t identify? Did we fail as surgeons?” Says Dr. Crane, “When I pick a patient to operate on and something goes wrong, or I hurt them, they come back to my office and I have to look them in the face and tell them: This is what happened, and I’m sorry.”
Where is that sense of accountability in the engineering profession, when people die in car crashes? The medical field certainly isn’t perfect, but perhaps engineers should take a leaf from the doctor’s book and start asking themselves: When people die on our roads, did we fail, as engineers?
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Cover image source: Unsplash.
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Charles Marohn—known as “Chuck” to friends and colleagues—is the founder and president of Strong Towns. He is a land use planner and (retired) civil engineer with decades of experience. He holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning, both from the University of Minnesota.
Marohn is the author of Strong Towns: A Bottom-Up Revolution to Rebuild American Prosperity (Wiley, 2019) and Confessions of a Recovering Engineer: Transportation for a Strong Town (Wiley 2021). He hosts the Strong Towns Podcast and is a primary writer for Strong Towns’ web content. He has presented Strong Towns concepts in hundreds of cities and towns across North America.
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