Articles: “When Doctors Admit Their Mistakes”

This article was published in August in the New York Times, and it considers the prevalent way many hospitals treat medical mistakes-silence. It offers a different method in which the Doctors actually admit to the patients when a mistake has been made instead of running from the truth.

It is recommended here, because it is something for us as PreMeds to consider, because despite the mystery and respect given to the Doctor, they are all human and can make mistakes. We, as hopeful doctors have to make an active choice on how we hope to treat our patients and their families when we make inevitable mistakes. And as this article shows, there is a choice, and I hope that by the time we become practicing Doctors, we have the option to work in an environment that lets us apologize to patients when we make a mistake.

Below is an excerpt:

Her patient had died in the hospital a week earlier. In conversations in the hallways and clinics, other doctors and nurses combed through the facts of the event hoping to find some detail — a physiological oddity, an honest misunderstanding, even an error — that could help prevent the same thing from happening to our patients in the future.

But then rumors that the family was considering a lawsuit began to make the rounds. Soon afterward, administrators from risk management, the department of the hospital devoted to improving safety, began warning us not to talk about the case — not to one another, not to the news media and, most of all, not to the family. It was not hard to understand why under this new order of silence attending a patient’s funeral might be discouraged. –New York Times (Link)


Please leave comments below on your thoughts on the article, etc.


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