Medical errors: Honesty is the best policy
“It’s a definite that you’re all going to screw up, but it’s not a definite that any of you will learn from that,” declared one of our medical school instructors, years ago. “Cultivate the attitude that allows you to own your mistakes, and then, not repeat them.”
How common are medical errors?
Medical errors are, frankly, rampant. A recent study used data analysis and extrapolation to estimate that “communication breakdowns, diagnostic errors, poor judgment, and inadequate skill” as well as systems failures in clinical care result in between 200,000 to 400,00 lives lost per year. What this means is that if medical error was a disease, it would be the third leading cause of death in the United States.
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