Doctors May Fear Admitting Medical Mistakes

Doctors May Fear Admitting Medical Mistakes

Medical errors continue to be a leading cause of death in the United States. According to a Johns Hopkins report, more than 250,000 Americans die each year from medical mistakes, making these errors the third leading cause of death behind cancer and heart disease.

However, if you or a loved one has suffered harm from medical error it is unlikely that your doctor will come forward and apologize or inform you of his or her role in the mistake. One recent study condcuted by a national team of researchers examined how doctors whould respond to 2 different situations involving medical errors. One situation involved the delayed diagnosis of breast cancer and another involved the breakdown in care. Over 70% of the doctors involved in the study indicated that they would provide little if any explanation of their involvement or offer an apology. They would also not be forthcoming about the cause of the error. The report stated that the biggest indication of whether a surgeon would come forward is the seriousness of the error and whether they strongly believe in patient education. Unfortunately, many doctors feel that the profession in general frowns on admitting mistakes - often rationalizing this as because on their fear of medical malpractice lawsuits. However, this culture may lead to physicians avoiding accountability or ignoring problems.

Patients who believe that they may have suffered a medical error should do their best to advocate themselves, listen closely and ask questions of their doctors. For more information, please contact the experienced San Diego medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.


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