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In the early 1900s, surgeons in Boston began gathering together to review cases in which patients died or were harmed unexpectedly. These conferences came to be called morbidity and mortality conferences, or M&Ms. Since 1983, M&Ms have also been a mandated part of general medical education: medical residents meet weekly to review all complications and deaths that occur under their care, whatever the cause. 1 The fundamental truth underlying M&Ms is the recognition that medical practitioners can and do cause harm, despite good training and best intentions. The goal is not to blame or punish physicians who make mistakes, but to learn from them and drive the medical profession forward. Because physicians are willing to stand in front of their peers and present their errors in a nonjudgmental forum, we all benefit from reductions in preventable medical errors and improved treatments and protocols. I believe we in the bodywork field would do well to recognize that we, too, can and do cause harm. We need our own form of M&Ms. And since we don't hold people's lives in our hands like physicians do, I propose we call our M&Ms "Missing the Mark." Despite our best intentions, bodyworkers miss the mark in ways large and small. In a field that is focused on wellness, recovery, and relaxation, it can seem like "bad branding" to turn a spotlight on the errors, unexpected outcomes, and injuries we can cause our clients. But it is exactly this kind of honest reckoning that will improve our outcomes over time, improve 60 m a s s a g e & b o d y w o r k j u l y / a u g u s t 2 0 2 0 THE NEED FOR RECKONING WITH THE HARM WE CAN (AND DO) CAUSE Missing the Mark By Robyn Scherr

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