New Study Offers Worrying Malpractice Statistics

December 31, 2008

US (ChattabBox) – A new survey conducted by Columbia University’s Institute on Medicine found that 49% of doctors have witnessed serious medical mistakes conducted by a colleague, but refused to report it.

This shocking statistic shows the way our overly litigious society has effected the way that doctors operate, as well as the level of trust patients can put on their doctors, knowing that they are not likely to be truthful about mistakes of those in their office, much less their own.

But the real problem is in catching the ones who are making the mistakes in the first place. So far, most legislation in the US does not work to inform patients about the mistake their doctors have made in the past, and often times malpractice suits are kept quiet until the numbers grow to a level that the medical board catches them. This is even the case in most deaths, and often the record doesn’t even follow a doctor over state lines.

“There isn’t an adequate system to catch these doctors after they’ve done one or two things, as opposed to just letting them go on and on,” Dr Sydney Wolfe of Public Citizen, a watchdog group aimed and informing citizens, said.

Its for this reason that medical reformers have been hard at work trying to change the way doctors react to mistake, including increasing personal responsibility to include apologies and openness when something goes wrong.

Websites have also been popping up all over the place, offering free information on doctors in each state, including marks against their record, but even these are limited in their abilities, and rely on patient reviews, which can be biased.

In the meantime, there is very little that patients can do to protect themselves against doctors who make common mistakes in their practice.


One Response to “New Study Offers Worrying Malpractice Statistics”

  1. Not so Fast on March 26th, 2009 1:39 pm

    Just for “kicks” take a look at a website called KevinMD THERE you will read “loads” of opinions lauding “self-policing” that the (ahem!) ‘Doctors” engage in and HOW “responsible” they REALLY are as a group. NOT! Patients! Wake UP! “They” care so much more for “themselves” than they do you. The old saw is true-“Doctors BURY their Mistakes!” You better have some one with you taking notes and names and tracking procedures and medications-you ONLY get ONE body and ONE Life, don’t let it be destroyed.

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