Thursday, August 09, 2007

Confidentiality Sucks

spConfidentailPrintI hate confidentiality.

No, I don't mean I disrespect or disregard the value of confidentiality. What I mean is, I hate having to keep a secret.

Some people are good at keeping secrets. Some people even enjoy keeping secrets - they are proud that they are being great confidants, and that they hold the key to the secret corner of many a heart. Derived from this is a sense of importance which confers immense emotional gratification in many people.

Despite all that, I hate to keep a secret.

It's not like I am not a nosey person (I am); but after knowing some secrets, it's really hard to pretend that I don't know about it. You see, the love of sharing flows in my vein - I love to share things like stories, knowledge, tips etc - but keeping a secret is the very opposite of what I love to do. Keeping things to myself is painful. I still keep secrets though, but it is excruciating.

Today, I am starting to feel the challenge I face as I am more exposed to the clinical environment. All patients' identities are to be kept strictly confidential. I can't tell you about the identity of any single patient, regardless of how interesting they are.

For example, today I saw an interesting guy who used to work for an international bigwig; but heck, I can't tell you more lest you find out that this particular guy has done a colonoscopy today. The only things I can tell you are:

A 70-year-old man came in for a colonoscopy procedure, and the investigation showed that he had a normal bowel.
That sucks (for me).

Image Credit: Lonsdale Print Solutions


day-dreamer said...

I guess that's what they call the "professionalism" or something...

You'll soon get used to it, I hope.

Have a nice day!

Ka Lip said...

You can tell me when you see me :)

I 'promise' to keep it a secret too!

crushedguava said...

Professor Snape *gasp* can keep secrets very well!

He kept secrets for a grand total of 7 books and more!

How excruciating it must be for him!

Imagine how he must have been dying to tell Harry that he was actually his good friend!

Just joking again.


sophisticatedsoul said...

Then I assume meeting less interesting patients will free you from your misery. lol. I know that is not the point you are trying to make. Yes, de-identification, confidentiality and all make things sound so complicated at times. I am so going to get myself ready for this.

youngyew said...

day-dreamer: Yeah keeping confidentiality is one of the main principles in medical ethics and professionalism.

ka lip: Haha you so 8 one! :P

crushedguava: *Sweat* Anyway he wasn't exactly keeping a secret, was he? He didn't want to tell Harry how much he loved his mum marr, so embarrassing, especially to someone with the eyes of his most beloved woman.

sophisticatedsoul: Haha yeah I think it's true. I would rather meet less interesting patients in the context of keeping secrets. :)

crushedguava said...

nevertheless, he was a great secret keeper

youngyew said...

Eerm... He is. He is good at occlumency anyway. :P