August 18, 2006
A "Culture of Silence"?
According to a new study (see the abstract here and a related study here discussing what exactly physicians would disclose in particular situations), fear of lawsuits is not the primary reason for doctors' silence in connection with errors. From the Seattle paper's report:
The results strongly suggest that the medical-malpractice environment, long believed by many doctors to be the "root of all evil," is not the prime deterrent to doctors' disclosing errors, Gallagher said.
* * *
Larson and Gallagher say they believe the main culprit is a "culture of medicine," which starts in medical school and instills a "culture of perfectionism" that doesn't train doctors to talk about mistakes.
Still, Gallagher predicts that will change: "We're just at the beginning of a culture change to greater transparency in medicine," he said.
(via Greedy Trial Lawyer)
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