Jan 16, 2019 | Updated: 03:16 PM EST

Medical Schools Must Train Doctors In Disclosing Medical Errors, Study Says

May 22, 2017 04:51 AM EDT


In order to minimize medical errors that caused fatalities, a recent study has encouraged medical schools to have a better education and training that would focus on admitting mistakes in giving medical advice. The authors of the study also said that initiatives of admitting medical error would make the doctor better in their profession.

In a paper published this May in Medical Education titled "Applying lessons from social psychology to transform the culture of error disclosure," it is said that a better education and training on the psychological challenges that coincide with errors and errors disclosure will improve the outcomes of their patients' cases. It would also reduce the number and impact of medical errors.

In an article published in Science Daily, medical errors are one of the leading cause of death in the United States as it caused 250,000 fatalities annually. In order to minimize this, the medical community tries to normalize error disclosure for physicians and medical trainees to improve the safety of the patients. However, the guidelines are still not enough as these doctors and trainees are influenced by the social psychology and choose not to disclose errors for not knowing how to manage consequences.

"We must transform the culture of error disclosure in the medical community from one that is often punitive to one that is restorative and supportive," lead author Dr. Neha Vapiwala said. He added that doctors must tend to the psychological challenges the medical professionals face when they are about to have the possibility of disclosing medical errors.

"Arguably, these psychological factors are harder to overcome, especially in this modern age of social media where health care providers can be reviewed and scrutinized in very public forums," Vapiwala said. However, the real concern of medical errors is any slip-up could also lead to the internet for the rest of their career, he added.

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