Correcting Medical Errors

Allowing medical students to correct mistakes in a respectful and understanding manner is a key element of the Deliberate Practice model.
The following quote from Promoting Patient Safety and Preventing Medical Error in Emergency Departments is particularly pertinent when contemplating this process. http://www.aemj.org/cgi/content/full/7/11/1204
Drawing from the results of a questionnaire completed by 114 internal medicine houseofficers, Wu et al. suggested that encouraging discussion of mistakes with attending physicians along with encouraging acceptance of responsibility with a view toward constructive change would better equip residents to learn from mistakes made during training. They believed that medical educators have a role in dispensing specific advice about preventing a second occurrence of the mistake, providing emotional support, and helping residents interpret the feelings of distress that are part of learning from error. These approaches would differ greatly from what Mizrahi observed during a sociological study of graduate medical education: “Little in their 3 year graduate program allowed them to work through the attendant vulnerability and ambiguity accompanying the managing of mistakes.”
Mizrahi T. Managing medical mistakes: ideology, insularity and accountability among internists-in-training. Soc Sci Med.1984; 19:135 -46.[Medline]
Wu AW, Folkman S, McPhee SJ, Lo B. Do house officers learn from their mistakes? JAMA. 1991;265 : 2089-94.
Wu AW, Folkman S, McPhee SJ, Lo B. How house officers cope with their mistakes. West J Med. 1993;159 : 565-9.[Medline]