Higher error in certain groups?

David Meyers dm0015 at ICLOUD.COM
Wed Oct 1 14:32:47 UTC 2014


It won't be easy to answer the question, "are doctors more often victims of medical error that the general population?", though I know of unfortunate examples of the doctor/VIP syndrome.  But, with respect to those physicians/victims, I'd like to know 1) how did the physician react to the error, e.g., reported at the time to the individual who committed the error and/or to another individual or institutional resource, took other actions, including legal; 2) whether the physician participated in or followed up to see if any corrective or preventive actions were taken; 3) recognizing the potential for committing a similar error, successfully changed his or her own practices or behaviors; 4) if in a teaching setting, translated the error event into lessons for trainees; 5) became more involved in efforts to address medical errors on an institutional or societal level.  Or were these events more often than not just lost opportunities.

My own experiences as one who has committed errors and who has been involved in professional liability actions (not necessarily related) both as defendant and expert, but not yet as plaintiff, gave me insights which influenced how I addressed errors as a practitioner, department chair, corporate risk manager. They also led to my long term involvement in larger settings to develop public policy and strategies to reduce errors and improve clinical practice. I suspect many other physicians have done the same, just like patient/victims are motivated to press for change.

David L Meyers, MD, FACEP 










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