“Pandering: Bending our Microbiological Principles”

This article has nothing to do with prostitution! I am talking here about microbiological pandering. Ie to facilitating a microbiological request made by another person/group, especially one of questionable appropriateness.

Ther are lots of examples of microbiological pandering i.e.:

  •  Accepting a request for extra susceptibility testing when the antibiotic can easily be inferred from one already tested, or when the result is a foregone conclusion.
  •  Accepting a request for a serological test which does not fit with the clinical picture and thus will have poor positive predictive value.
  •  Doing extra tests on a patient just because he/she is famous or well known in the community.
  •  Using a diferent methodology for one consultant’s patients because this is his/her personal preference.

and many many more…

There are several reasons why we pander; To maintain relationships, to avoid criticism, because of the seniority of the requestor, to try and please everyone, to “pay back a favour”….

I suspect we all pander to some extent. I am as guilty as anyone else of the occasional pander.

However “overpandering” leads to chaotic and unprincipled methods and approaches, and is ultimately disadvantageous to the patient.

Conversely, an organisation or individual which doesn’t pander at all may be seen as unwilling to listen, not prepared to negotiate.

I think we need to “live with” a bit of minor pandering here and there, but first and foremost we need to stand up to our microbiological principles and apply them as consistently as we possibly can…..

Michael

 

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