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Surgeons who commit medical errors find disclosure, apology difficult
 

Surgeons who commit medical errors find disclosure, apology difficult

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Medical errors, especially during surgeries, are traumatic for patients who must bare the consequences of the doctor's action. But a survey among physicians in Massachusetts, U.S.A. revealed erring surgeons also go through extreme stress after their blunder, the result of which is that most are unable to apologize for their mistake.
 
today.mims.com
 
28 Jul 2016 - General
 

I think the bottom line is that you are either a good or a bad person. A good doctor will only have his patient's welfare at heart, and he is motivated to succeed through surgeries to fulfill his oath. Now, whether or not you are careful or not, accidents and complications happen. Even so, we make wrong decisions. Bottom line is that did not will for something bad to happen, but it did. So you have to own up to it. As a professional, you have to explain what happened, but you have to ex...
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If the surgeon or physician does an act of negligence or intentionally did something wrong to the patient, I believe the patient deserves an apology, and any legal action if the situation requires it. But generally what we encounter as complications following surgery or medical procedures are not due to negligence. Even the most experienced surgeon can accidentally damage a vessel or organ while performing a surgery. Should they apologize to the patient? I think not. For any invasive medical pro...
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In UK, healthcare professionals are informed about the "Duty of Candour" -- it is a legal duty on hospital, community an mental health trusts to inform and apologise to patients if there have been mistakes in their care that have led to significant harm. Duty of Candour aims to help patients receive accurate, truthful information from health providers.

I would just like to comment on this particular statement, "He further notes that a lot of surveyed surgeons don’t kn...
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@ Marinelle ."As my mentor once said, "if you haven't seen any complication, it means you are not doing enough cases"" - well quoted. Very true.There are bounds to be time when uncommon complication arising out of the most perfectly done surgery. Even the top surgeon can get sued by surgeries well done for whatever reason. I have seen too many of these."Although, I will sympathize and reassure the family that I will do everything medically possible to optimize treatm...
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When obtaining informed consent, the following should be explained thoroughly: Patient's current clinical condition, indication for surgery, significant details of the surgical procedure, expected outcome (morbidity/mortality rate/functional), possible complications (better if you can give percentages), what happens if surgery is not done. At the end of the explanation, the surgeon should have gained the trust of the patient and established a rapport. If the surgeon feels that the patient do...
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"He further notes that a lot of surveyed surgeons don’t know what to say and how to say it. He adds that there is little to no training for this kind of communication in medical school or during residency."- We weren't told how to apologize for something like this. Disclosure of course is very important. We shouldn't hide that a complication occurred as they have the right to know. Complications happen during surgery and being the competent surgeon we should address this and ex...
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Will you apologize to a patient if you botched a procedure or a surgery. I personally would but I will put it in the context of the unfortunate occurrence of a not uncommon complication. I will also put in in a person person way like " I am sorry that you have suffered a complication of... " I will not say things like " I am sorry to have caused a complication .." How will you apologize to a patient? Do you have experience of this before. I feel that a patient will need an ap...
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