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Study Shows Doctors Donít Always Report Errors

According to a recent study, although doctors think they should report incompetent colleagues and medical errors to authorities, almost half don’t.

The study is published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Study Conducted

Researchers surveyed 3,504 randomly picked doctors throughout the U.S between November 2003 and June 2004.

However, they only received 1,662 responses.

The study found that while 96 percent of respondents said doctors should report colleagues who have made a medical mistake, only 55 percent of them, with direct personal knowledge of such doctors, actually did so.

93 percent of respondents said doctors should always report impaired colleagues; though, only 54 percent of those who had such information actually acted on it.

Doctors Not Being Reported

“I think human beings always fall short of their aspirations,” said David Blumenthal, author of the study.

Of those surveyed, cardiologists were the least likely to admit that they always report serious medical mistakes.

“We probably need some kind of whistle-blower protection for doctors,” commented Jack Lewin, CEO of the American College of Cardiology.

(Source: USA Today)

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