US doctors downplay medical errors

A new survey shows that US physicians do not believe that the problem of medical errors is as significant as the 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine indicates. The public think differently.

Researchers in Denver conducted a mail survey of 1000 Colorado physicians, 1000 national physicians and a telephone survey of 500 households in Colorado.

Most of the physicians who responded to the survey thought that reducing medical errors should be a national priority.

However, 29 per cent of them did not believe that quality of care was the problem. This was in contrast to the 67 per cent of the public who felt it was a priority. In addition, more lay people than physicians believed that a national agency is needed for the problem (Arch Intern Med, 2002; 162: 2186-90).

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Written by What Doctors Don't Tell You

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