Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors?

L. C. Kaldjian, V. L. Forman-Hoffman, E. W. Jones, B. J. Wu, B. H. Levi, G. E. Rosenthal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: Discussions about medical errors facilitate professional learning for physicians and may provide emotional support after an error, but little is known about physicians' attitudes and practices regarding error discussions with colleagues. Methods: Survey of faculty and resident physicians in generalist specialties in Midwest, Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions of the US to investigate attitudes and practices regarding error discussions, likelihood of discussing hypothetical errors, experience role-modelling error discussions and demographic variables. Results: Responses were received from 338 participants (response rate = 74%). In all, 73% of respondents indicated they usually discuss their mistakes with colleagues, 70% believed discussing mistakes strengthens professional relationships and 89% knew at least one colleague who would be a supportive listener. Motivations for error discussions included wanting to learn whether a colleague would have made the same decision (91%), wanting colleagues to learn from the mistake (80%) and wanting to receive support (79%). Given hypothetical scenarios, most respondents indicated they would likely discuss an error resulting in no harm (77%), minor harm (87%) or major harm (94%). Fifty-seven percent of physicians had tried to serve as a role model by discussing an error and role-modelling was more likely among those who had previously observed an error discussion (OR 4.17, CI 2.34 to 7.42). Conclusions: Most generalist physicians in teaching hospitals report that they usually discuss their errors with colleagues, and more than half have tried to role-model discussions. However, a significant number of these physicians report that they do not usually discuss their errors and some do not know colleagues who would be supportive listeners.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)717-722
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of medical ethics
Volume34
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2008

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Medical Errors
physician
resident
Physicians
Mid-Atlantic Region
role model
listener
Teaching Hospitals
Residents
Motivation
Demography
Learning
Surveys and Questionnaires

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Health Policy

Cite this

Kaldjian, L. C., Forman-Hoffman, V. L., Jones, E. W., Wu, B. J., Levi, B. H., & Rosenthal, G. E. (2008). Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors? Journal of medical ethics, 34(10), 717-722. https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2007.023713
Kaldjian, L. C. ; Forman-Hoffman, V. L. ; Jones, E. W. ; Wu, B. J. ; Levi, B. H. ; Rosenthal, G. E. / Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors?. In: Journal of medical ethics. 2008 ; Vol. 34, No. 10. pp. 717-722.
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Kaldjian, LC, Forman-Hoffman, VL, Jones, EW, Wu, BJ, Levi, BH & Rosenthal, GE 2008, 'Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors?', Journal of medical ethics, vol. 34, no. 10, pp. 717-722. https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2007.023713

Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors? / Kaldjian, L. C.; Forman-Hoffman, V. L.; Jones, E. W.; Wu, B. J.; Levi, B. H.; Rosenthal, G. E.

In: Journal of medical ethics, Vol. 34, No. 10, 01.10.2008, p. 717-722.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Kaldjian LC, Forman-Hoffman VL, Jones EW, Wu BJ, Levi BH, Rosenthal GE. Do faculty and resident physicians discuss their medical errors? Journal of medical ethics. 2008 Oct 1;34(10):717-722. https://doi.org/10.1136/jme.2007.023713