Study: Doctors are slow to admit mistakes

We all make mistakes, even doctors from time to time. And in theory, it’s good to admit it when we make a mistake.

But when it comes to doctors, a recent study suggests they’re more likely to say it’s important in theory to disclose a medical error to patients than they are to actually `fess up.

The study, published online by the Journal of General Internal Medicine, was based on survey responses from 538 faculty, resident physicians and medical students at teaching hospitals in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Researchers at the University of Iowa found that while nearly all respondents – 97 percent – said they would disclose a hypothetical medical error that resulted in minor medical harm, 93 percent said they would disclose an error even if it had caused disability or death.

But only 41 percent said they had actually disclosed a minor medical error they made, and just 5 percent said they had revealed a major error during their career. Moreover, 19 percent said they had made a minor medical error but not disclosed it; 4 percent said they had made a major error and not disclosed it. Read More on this topic….

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